NEALT: Background material

On this page, you will find some supplementary material which has been used when drafting the bylaws:

  • discussion on the name which would be appropriate when referring to the geographic area, and
  • constitutions of some similar associations which can be found in the net.

Area covered by the association

The geographic area for the association is what the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), and the NordForsk (formerly NorFA) refers to as Nordic and Baltic countries and North-West Russia i.e. the area for which many of the Nordic activities are effective.

Unfortunately, there is no established short term or expression for this geographic area:

  • Nordic countries is fairly fixed: Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In the Nordic context, Faroese Islands and Greenland are included.
  • Baltic countries are also fairly fixed: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
  • North-West Russia is probably less strictly defined. (Is there an official definition available?)

The following are just Google search results from the Web in order to find justification for various possible names for the geographic area for the association. Ambiguous or vague area names may, thus, serve our purpose, if no precise ones exist.

Northwest Russia

Nortwest Russia is ambiguous and probably has several interpretations depending of the context. For NCM, it is basically the areas adjacent to Nordic and Baltic countries (and following excerpts admit some vagueness). For Russian administration, it probably covers a wider stretch in the North.

A semiofficial site listing the federal district: which is pointed at the Wikipedia . Other links and excerpts:

The Nordic Council of Ministerís Guidelines for Cooperation with Northwest Russia 2006 - 2008


Geographically, this cooperation extends to the areas of Northwest Russia with natural borders to the Nordic region or the Baltic countries: Murmansk, Karelia, the province of Leningrad, Pskov, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

Another important actor is the Plenipotentiary Representative Office of the President of the Russian Federation in the Northwestern Federal District. The institute of the Presidentís Representatives gained political importance after the country was divided into seven big federal districts in 2000. Geographically, the jurisdiction of the Presidentís Representative extends to Saint Petersburg, Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, Murmansk, Vologda, the Arkhangelsk and Kaliningrad oblasts; the Karelia and Komi republics, and the Nenetz autonomous district. However, it is important to note that so far it is extremely difficult to pinpoint the exact prerogatives and political functions of the Presidentís Representative....


Moreover, the actual geographical limits of Northwest Russia are not that clear either. It was pointed out that the NCM itself has used different definitions in its various documents, sometimes excluding the oblasts of Pskov, Kaliningrad and Novgorod, and once even initiating a project in Moscow (which did not go through the IO). The IO itself sticks to the official definition of the seven Federal Districts, of which Northwest Russia is one.

Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St. Petersburg ( has the following text:

The Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St.Petersburg was founded in 1995.

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the forum for governmental cooperation for 5 Nordic Countries

  • Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

and the 3 autonomic territories:

  • Greenland (Denmark)
  • The Faeroe islands (Denmark)
  • The Aaland islands (Finland)

The activities of the Information Office of the Nordic Council of Ministers in St.Petersburg cover the Northwest region of Russia including St.Petersburg, Leningrad oblast, Republic of Karelia, Pskov and Kaliningrad. The Office has Information points in Archangelsk, Murmansk and Petrozavodsk. There are altogether 16 employees working for the Information Office in Northwest region of Russia. 12 of them, including the Director, work in St. Petersburg and the other 4 - at the Information points of the Barents region.

The guidelines for the Nordic Council of Ministers cooperation with Northwest Russia 2006-2008:

  • Democracy development and constitutional order
  • IT cooperation in terms of content and technology
  • Cross border cooperation
  • Research and innovation work, cooperation in the field of education
  • Social and health issues
  • Environment and sustainable development

North(ern) Europe

Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden

The countries in North Europe, ie. Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia & Lithuania all have Irish Pubs, totalling more than 55.

Northern Europe is a name of the northern part of the European continent. At different times this region has been defined differently but today it is generally seen to include:

  • the Nordic countries, i.e. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland
  • the Baltic states, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
  • The United Kingdom, i.e. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • others, e.g. Northern Russia, Northern Germany, Northern Poland, Belgium and The Netherlands

Before 19th century, the term 'Nordic' or 'Northern' was commonly used to mean Northern Europe in a sense that included the Nordic countries, European Russia, the Baltic countries (at that time Livonia and Courland) and Greenland.

In earlier eras, when Europe was dominated by the Mediterranean region, everything not near this sea was termed Northern Europe, including Germany, much of France, the Low Countries, and Austria. This meaning is still used today in some contexts, such as in discussions of the Northern Renaissance.

In a European Union context, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands are often seen as belonging to a Northern group.

Region 2 - North Europe: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Iceland.

North Europe: Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Island, Norway, Sweden

Baltic sea countries

Excludes Norway and Iceland (which should be included). Includes North Germany, and Poland (which should be excluded).


Nowadays quite precisely defined, but exludes St. Petersburgh and any other parts of Russia.

Some bylaws found in the net

The following are just links found using web searching with keywords like nordic, bylaw, constitution etc. Not all of them are relevant, but some contain useful material for our purposes.

The bylaws of the Nordic Association of Linguistics are also attached (as they are not visible in the NAL pages).