The Nordic countries defy many of the traditional economic theories. Despite having large public sectors, strong unions, small wage differences, generous welfare states and high taxes, their economies have fared better than those of most countries. Norwegian professor Kalle Moene leads a centre at the University of Oslo which will study the phenomenon. He believes the threat to the Nordic Welfare Model comes not so much from the forces of globalisation, but rather from domestic pressures.
Young people with disabilities and their access to the labour market will receive special focus when Sweden takes the helm at the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2008.