07 November 2011
Prime Minister's Office
Reinfeldt gathers political leaders from the Nordic and Baltic countries and the UK for Stockholm summit
On 8 and 9 February 2012, the political leaders of the Nordic and Baltic countries plus the UK will meet in Stockholm when Sweden hosts the Northern Future Forum summit meeting. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has chosen to focus on two important growth issues: women's entrepreneurship and leadership, and older people in the labour force.
The debt crisis has hit many countries hard. As Europe tries to solve its common problems, it is also important to look beyond and ahead. In Stockholm in February, participants will take a closer look at two growth issues that are close to Sweden's heart, namely, how to increase the number of women leaders and entrepreneurs, and how to enable senior citizens to stay in the labour force longer.
The countries participating in the meeting have largely similar values and conditions. They are often seen as a northern growth corridor with a strong commitment to gender equality and social growth issues. Yet much remains to be done to enable everyone to reach their professional goals and increase the prospects of sustainable growth even in the longer term.
For example, only 30 per cent of all entrepreneurs in the EU are women. The Nordic and Baltic countries and the UK are all close to this figure. Moreover, while people are living longer and longer, the retirement age is virtually the same as it was several decades ago. And only 36 per cent of people aged 55-64 and 8 per cent of people aged 65-74 in the EU were active in the labour market last year.
The nine prime ministers are being urged to bring external experts in their delegations. These may be entrepreneurs, researchers or people at government agencies who have practical experience of the issues and who can give their views on the subjects on the agenda. The purpose is to bring about an open discussion and a good exchange of experience in which the countries can learn from one another, but also from the business community and the academic world.
The countries that will meet in Stockholm in February are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
The Northern Future Forum will be open to the media.
For more information on the meeting, see www.sweden.gov.se/nff
The Swedish Foreign Ministry's website