The Nordic Countries’ ‘Exceptionalism’ in EU Environmental Policy
Abstract: The Nordic countries have a long tradition of regional cooperation. The end of the Cold War and the subsequent accession of Finland and Sweden to the European Union created the necessity to redefine the nature of this collaboration model. The traditional pattern of Nordic ‘exceptionalism’ could no longer be applied and the Nordic countries have gradually turned to the European Union as the main arena for not only the promotion of their national but also regional interests. While the Europeanisation of Nordic cooperation has, to some extent, diluted the original model of Nordic ‘exceptionalism,’ defined as being better than the others but also a model that could be applied elsewhere, it has also affected the European Union, where the Nordic countries have to some extent ‘nordicised’ the EU. The paper uses the example of Nordic countries’ effect on the EU environmental policy to show how sub-regions in the EU might shape European policies.
Keywords: Nordic exceptionalism, EU environmental policies, Nordic cooperation