VII. The Contemporary Period, 1945–2000 > B. Europe, 1945–2000 > 6. Western Europe, 1945–2000 > j. The Scandinavian States
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1939, June 17) (See Sept)
 
j. The Scandinavian States
 
A chief concern of the Scandinavian countries during the postwar period was with military security. Negotiations among Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in 1948–49 on a joint defense pact broke down when Denmark and Norway (together with Iceland) decided to join the North Atlantic Treaty, while Sweden was determined to do nothing that might impair its traditional neutrality. Finland likewise tried to maintain a middle course, constrained by Soviet overtures for more cordial relations.  1
In economic and cultural matters, however, the Scandinavian states drew ever closer together. On Feb. 12, 1953, all of them except Finland organized the Nordic Council, which Finland joined two years later. The council consisted of members of the various parliaments, meeting annually for discussion of common problems and general consultation; committees were set up to deal with economic, social, financial, and cultural matters. In 1967 the council set up the Nordic Cultural Foundation, and in 1969 it endorsed plans for a Nordic Economic Union. Various foundations were established for scientific and other purposes.  2
 
1. Denmark
 
 
1945, May 5
 
Vilhelm Buhl, a Social Democrat, formed the first postwar cabinet.  3
 
Oct. 30
 
General elections for the first time gave 18 of the 148 seats in the lower house to the Communist Party. The Social Democrats lost an equal number but still emerged as the strongest party. Since no coalition was possible, Knud Kristensen formed a Liberal Party minority government.  4
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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