The purpose of this article is twofold: to theoretically assess ideational and organizational explanatory factors in the adoption of artificial intelligence policies; and to examine the extent to which the European Union has managed to facilitate a coordinated artificial intelligence policy in the Nordic countries. The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach based on systematic web searching, systematic policy document analysis and key informant semi-structured interviews. The study finds that the European Union has utilized framing-based strategies to set an agenda for a coordinated European artificial intelligence policy. Moreover, the strategy has affected member-state artificial intelligence policies to the extent that key tenets of European Union artificial intelligence discourse have penetrated Nordic public documents. However, the extent to which the Nordic countries incorporate European Union artificial intelligence policy discourse diverges at the national level. Differentiated national organizational capacities among Nordic countries make the adoption of artificial intelligence policies divergent. This observation is theoretically accounted for through a conversation between organizational theory of public governance and discursive institutionalism. The study argues that the framing of European Union artificial intelligence policies is filtered through organizational structures among states.