The Association Austria-Nordic Countries (Verband Österreich-Nordische Länder/VÖNL) was founded in 1999 to strengthen the cultural and economic ties between Austria and the Nordic countries and sees itself as a politically neutral, independent association. Originally, the association included Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, but in 2006, the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined to further broadened the organisation’s cultural and linguistic spectrum.
The VÖNL aims to organise at least one major high-quality event with top-class presenters, artists or lecturers every year. The 2015 lecture, for example, was a symposium in the honour of the “120-year anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s famous testament” at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Last year, the work of renowned calligrapher Annika Rücker, who has been designing magnificent Nobel Prize diplomas for many years, was presented on 27 October 2016 in the ceremonial hall of the Austrian Mint. In 2017, the VÖNL offered a lecture on "The Sami culture", while the event on 8 March 2018 was focused on "Myths in the North".
The association's Nordic Summer Ball will be a joyful celebration of Nordic cooperation and cultural richness. All Nordic and Baltic embassies have underlined their interest in the project and several of them have already confirmed that they will assume patronage (“Ehrenschutz”) of the event.