International and EU library cooperation
In international cooperation the Ministry of Education and Culture aims to influence decisions made in international and EU contexts already in early stages of preparation and to be an active partner in international administrative and development work.
Nordic government officials responsible for library affairs meet annually to exchange information about national developments and joint projects. One example of the joint projects is Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly.
In 1998 the European Parliament adopted a memorandum on the role of libraries in modern society as the basis for the EU's first library policy programme. The memorandum was commissioned by the European Parliament's committee on cultural, youth and education and the media affairs.
In 2000 the EU countries set up a cooperation forum called NAPLE (National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe), in which the Ministry of Education and Culture participates actively. NAPLE disseminates information about European public libraries, promotes the development of national library services, identifies suitable cooperation areas and research needs, and supports strategic library development in Europe.
In the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), representatives of different UN organs, governments, civic organisations and the private sector explore ways of extending the benefits of information society worldwide, with special emphasis on library and information services.
The Ministry of Education and Culture monitors developments in media literacy and access to
information and issues opinions, for instance in the WSIS context.