Policy Areas

Norway and the European Union – Security and Defence

Norway offers civilian capabilites to the EU
Norway is an active contributor to international civil crisis management operations and has a long tradition of participating in such operations. Norway has a variety of civilian capabilities to offer. These include police personnel, experts on the rule of law, civilian protection and rescue service personnel and experts on peace negotiations, human rights monitoring and democracy building. Norway’s experience with working with the EU in the civil crisis management field has so far been very positive.

Legal framework
1 December 2004 an agreement between Norway and the EU establishing a framework for the participation of Norway in the EUs crisis management operations came into force. The legal framework between Norway and the EU was further strengthened with an agreement beween Norway and the EU on security prosedures for the exchange of classified information, that was signed between EU and Norway on 22 November 2004.

Norwegian police capabilities
As a national headline goal Norway seconds roughly 1 per cent, which is around 80 persons, of its standing national police force to international assignments. Since 1989 Norway has provided police personnel on bilateral basis, through the UN and the OSCE and since 1 January 2003 also through the EU. Today Norwegian police personnel participate in international missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, East Timor, Hebron, Kyrgizstan and in the two EU police missions, EUPM in Bosnia-Hercegovina and EUPOL Proxima in Macedonia.

Norway was, along with other third states, invited to provide candidates for positions in the EU’s first police mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina which was launched 1 January 2003. (www.eupm.org). Norway has currently 9 personnel participating in EUPM, including a legal advisor at the main headquarter in Sarajevo. During EUPMs first year Norway also had a political adviser at the headquarter.

EU launched it’s second police mission 15 December 2003 in Macedonia. (www.eupol-proxima.org). This mission was a follow up of the military operation, Concordia, which EU led in cooperation with NATO. Norway was again among the invited third states to participate. Currently the Norwegian team in Macedonia consists of five personnel.

Norway’s Crisis Response Pool
Norway has experienced that in civil crisis management, there is often a clear need for assistance in other parts of the justice sector as well, such as the courts, the prosecuting authorities and the prison service. Reconstruction and reform of the justice and security sector is a precondition for achieving a sucessful and sustainable transistion from a totalitarian regime to a democracy – or from a failed to a well-functioning state. To this end and in order to strengthen Norway’s contribution to international civil crisis management operations, Norway established last year a crisis response pool. This crisis response pool currently consists of 30 members: 10 judges, five prosecutors/military prosecutors, six police lawyers and nine prison administrators.

The police personnel and the experts from the crisis response pool can be deployed within 30 days and can be assigned to both strengthening and substitution missions. The personnel from both sectors are at senior or middle management level and all of them haver undergone training for crisis management operations. More than half of them have mission experience. The personnel will be regularly reviewed and undergo additional training to ensure a high standard of performance in international operations.

Norwegian legal experts from the crisis response pool are today represented in the EUPM (a legal adviser) and in Georgia. Furthermore, Norway sent three legal experts from the crisis response pool to Bosnia-Herzegovina early 2005 to assist the international community’s High Representative in BiH, Lord Paddy Ashdown, in establishing a detention facility and also to assist the Special Chamber for War Crimes in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Georgia a team of four legal experts has been engaged in reform of the justice sector since late October last year, by an invitation from Georgia’s president. The Norwegian team coordinate their effors with the EU’s first rule of law mission in Georgia, EUJUST/THEMIS, that was launched in July 2004. (http://ue.eu.int/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=701&lang=en&mode=g)

Other civilian capabilities
Norwegian personnel have also been active in the EUs Monitoring Mission (EUMM – former ECMM) for several years. Today eight Norwegians participate in EUMM in the Western Balkans. They are working in Belgrade, Macedonia, Montenegro, BiH and at the headquearter in Sarajevo.

Norway is also contributing personnel from the civilian protection and search and rescue services to a number of international operations. Norwegian capabilites also include experts on peace negotiations, human rights monitoring and democracy building. Norway is interested in sharing its experience and expertise with the EU by taking part in EU-led civil crisis management operations where these capabilites are wanted.

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