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Portrait 2013

Anniken Huitfeldt: Minister of Labour with an eye for equality
”More people can do some work” says Anniken Huitfeldt when I meet Norway’s new Minister of Labour just as we enter 2013. There are parliamentary elections in September. So where will she make her mark in the next six months; where does she want to make a difference as Minister of Labour in Jens Stoltenberg’s government?
Katrín Jakobsdóttir - party leader during times of change
She is young, skilled and popular and has just been elected party leader for Iceland’s Left-Green Movement (VG). She will lead her party into parliamentary elections at the end of April, under what for Iceland are unusual circumstances were the former party leader is one of the party’s strongest candidates in the election.
Greenland’s new leader inspired by Mandela
Greenland politics is literally on the move after the 12 March elections. Boxes, lever arch files and personal belongings are strewn around corridors of the devolved government in the centre of Nuuk, while newly elected members move into their new offices, and meeting rooms are changing owners.
Bjarne Brøndbo, the employer who didn’t say no after the first attempt
He stood there with his cigaret behind his ear, asking: Bjarne, where can I smoke? “That was the first thing he said to me,” says employer Bjarne Brøndbo. After a few hours he was ready to give up on the school dropout. He called the Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) and said he didn’t think it would work. Give him one more chance, said Randi Nyheim Aglen from the youth team. That was the beginning of a good story. What happened?
Christina Colclough is fascinated by the Nordic cooperation model
After living in the Nordic countries for nearly 30 years, British-Danish Christina Colclough, the new Secretary General at the Council of Nordic Trade Unions, NFS, is still fascinated by the Nordic welfare and labour market model. It fuels innovation, competitiveness and productivity, she says.
Dagfinn Høybråten’s new Nordic project: health cooperation
Much tighter cooperation between Nordic health services is in the pipeline and if it succeeds the cooperation model can easily be expanded to include other policy areas which would help develop the Nordic welfare model. That’s the vision of the project’s chief architect, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten.
Sture Fjäder challenges Finland’s trade union culture
Strengthening the Nordics as an economic region, cutting income tax, reviewing the priorities of the welfare state – these are just a few of the issues on union boss Sture Fjäder’s agenda for Finland and the Nordic region.
Kaj Leo Johannesen: The Faroe Islands’ challenge is to keep hold of its youths
Since 28 August the Faroe Islands have been boycotted by the EU and Norway because of a dispute over North Atlantic herring and mackerel. Faroese vessels are banned from landing these two species in the EU, Prime Minister Kaj Leo Johannesen tells the Nordic Labour Journal.
Iceland’s Minister of Social Affairs: The importance of writing off debts
Eygló Harðardóttir is the Minister of Social Affairs in Iceland’s new government. The low number of female ministers and women in parliamentary committees has created heated debate. Most committees have an uneven gender distribution, which goes against the law. But the new minister is not particularly worried. She reckons the number of women will rise soon.

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