In the year 2000...
1996 A.D.: Sleipnir's stasis chamber is completed at Stockholm National Starport, and is added to the growing framework of the ship.
A series of brief border skirmishes results in Russia regaining some of the ground it lost to Rome in the last war. The Northern coast of the Eastern continent becomes a politically unstable region of competing ideologies that is wracked by war more often than not. The area does not bring in a lot of tourist revenue.
1999 A.D.: As the Norse Golden Age ends, sweeping legal reforms lead to a stronger central government and less autonomy for the NDU member states.
I've decided to spend some of the expansive nebulae of gold my Golden Age brought in to pay for Courthouses in all the formerly-puppeted cities of Denmark, Austria, and Germany, giving me full control over their production cues. I've also adopted Secularism, giving me another huge boost to Science.
2000 A.D.: The TeleCom boom brings new jobs and new ways of doing business to the NDU.
Telecommunications opens up another wonder that will help me finish out strong: The CN Tower, which gives me a free radio tower in every city.