Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre with Tony Blair, Salam Fayyad, Catherine Ashton and Irit Ben-Abba after a meeting in Brussels 2011. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service.Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre with Tony Blair, Salam Fayyad, Catherine Ashton and Irit Ben-Abba after a meeting in Brussels 2011. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service

Norway and the EU Foreign and Security Policy

Last updated: 08/06/2009 // Norway is not part of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. However, Norway has regular political dialogues with the EU on various foreign policy issues and is regularly invited to align itself with EU foreign policy statements.

The EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP) is a cooperation between the governments of the EU Member States, through their representatives in the Council of the European Union.

Norway is a member of the European Economic Area through the EEA Agreement, which covers a large part of the former first pillar and the internal market. But as a non-member of the EU, Norway is not part of the CFSP.

Norway’s foreign policy, however, is largely based on the same values and priorities as that of the EU and its member states – thus our positions are usually very similar. Norway cooperates closely with the EU on a wide range of foreign policy issues.

On a daily basis Norway consults and interacts with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in order to safeguard common positions and make a difference in international affairs. Norway is engaged in a substantial policy dialogue with the EU on foreign policy issues – primarily with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member states.

As part of the EEA Agreement, there are foreign policy consultations twice a year in the margins of EEA Council meetings. Together with the EFTA partners, Norway is invited to consultations with the Council working groups on topics of common concern such as the Middle East, the Balkans, Russia, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. In addition, Norway is frequently invited to align itself with foreign policy statements by the EU, or with EU interventions in international organisations.

The political dialogue with working groups naturally takes place in policy areas where Norway has particular interests, and where a co-ordinated effort with the EU can make a difference. Some of these areas are described below.

South Eastern Europe
The situation in the Balkans calls for considerable political, economic and military support from the international community. The European Union is providing significant technical and financial assistance to the countries of the Western Balkans since 1991.

Norway is participating fully in the international efforts in this part of the world. Our aim is to assist in democratisation and economic development, thereby laying a better foundation for greater stability both within and between the countries of the region. Norway gives priority to the work of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, initiated by the EU and under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which could prove to be an important stimulus to political and economic progress and help integrate the countries of the region into Euro-Atlantic co-operation structures.

Norway and Russia
The situation in Russia has great significance for security and stability in Europe. Norway believes that Russia must be drawn into broad European and international co-operation and is actively seeking to develop links with northwestern Russia, both bilaterally and together with others such as the European Union and its member states. Norway has participated in the EU’s work on the Northern Dimension and wishes to continue to be involved in this effort.

The Barents Euro-Arctic co-operation, the Council of the Baltic Sea States, Nordic co-operation, the partnership between NATO and Russia and the EU’s Northern Dimension are all vital aspects of Norwegian policy towards Russia that must be viewed in conjunction with each other. It is, however, important be realistic about what can be achieved in the short term. Co-operation with Russia is a long-term investment in good neighbourly relations and security.

Middle East Peace Process
Norway facilitated the Oslo Agreement of 1993 between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and Norway continues to play a role in the efforts to create lasting peace in the Middle East. As chairman of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for aid to the Palestinian Authority, Norway co-operates closely with the EU, which is the biggest donor in this field. The EEA Agreement provides for regular political dialogue meetings on the Middle East with the EU troika.

Contact point at the Mission of Norway is Minister Counsellor Laila Stenseng, e-mail: [email protected], ph.:+32 (0) 2 234 11 34.

(August 2009)

Source: Elisabeth Walaas   |   Share on your network   |   print