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Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway met with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission in Brussels in January 2015. 
Photo: Juha Roininen, EUP Images/SMK.Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway met with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission in Brussels in January 2015. Photo: Juha Roininen, EUP Images/SMK

Norway–EU cooperation at political level

Last updated: 10.03.2015 // Norway and the EU share the same fundamental values, and face many of the same challenges. Close cooperation at political level is essential to find joint solutions to these challenges.

The EEA and other agreements with the EU shape domestic policies at most levels and in most areas of Norwegian society. It is therefore in our national interest to cooperate closely with the EU and to participate actively in policy debates at European level. In this way, Norway seeks to promote its interests and to contribute to a positive development in Europe.

The EEA Council
The EEA Agreement provides the main platform for political cooperation between Norway and the EU. The EEA has its own council, which establishes political priorities for implementing and developing the Agreement. The EEA Council meets twice a year at ministerial level to assess the overall functioning of the EEA Agreement and to discuss matters of common concern. In connection with these meetings, a separate political dialogue meeting is held to discuss foreign and security policy issues.

In addition to the established structure provided for by the EEA Agreement, various bilateral high-level meetings take place. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of EEA and EU Affairs meet with various EU leaders such as the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the EU Presidency to discuss issues of common interest.

There are also regular meetings between the other members of the Government and members of the Commission and the European Parliament.

Based on a long-standing tradition between the EFTA states and the EU Presidency, various Norwegian ministers are invited to informal ministerial meetings and conferences organised by the rotating EU Presidency.

The European Parliament also invites Norway to present its views on topical issues, such as Norway’s involvement in the Middle East, the Arctic and the High North, and Norway’s energy policy. There is close parliamentary cooperation between Norway and the European Parliament. Norway is the only non-EU country with a designated liaison officer to the European Parliament.

Members of the European Parliament’s delegation to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and the EEA meet regularly with Norwegian parliamentarians both in a bilateral and in an EEA EFTA context, as well as within the framework of other arenas for international cooperation, notably the Arctic Parliamentary Assembly.

Standing committees of the European Parliament often invite Norwegian parliamentarians to take part in inter-parliamentary meetings, and Norway is invited on a regular basis to parliamentary meetings hosted by the parliament of the country holding the rotating EU Presidency.

Although the EEA Agreement is the mainstay of Norway’s political cooperation with the EU, Norway has chosen to collaborate with its European partners in more areas than those covered by the Agreement. You can read more about cooperation under the Schengen Agreement, cooperation on foreign and security policy and other areas of cooperation on www.eu-norway.org.


More information:

Document: The Norwegian Government's Strategy for cooperation with the EU 2014 - 2017
Website: The European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement
Website: EEA EFTA Policy Areas on www.efta.int
Brochure: Ten facts about the EEA
Website: The EEA and Norway Grants
The Government's official website in English

 

 


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