The Nordic Council was formed in 1952 as a forum for interparliamentary cooperation. The national parliamentarians of the five Nordic countries, as well as three independent regions (Greenland, Åland, and the Faroe Islands), came together to cooperate on legal, social, cultural, and financial matters, as well as on specific initiatives concerning transportation and the environment. More recently, they have expanded their goals to include foreign policy and security matters. The council holds a general meeting every year with an additional meeting on selected issues. It conducts continuous work on policy issues through five committees and four political party groups.