The international policy of the new Norwegian government

At the change of government, a declaration has been prepared to present the main lines of the new government’s policy. The Prime Minister will present this report to the Storting as soon as possible after the change. This Inaugural Address states that the main features of Norwegian foreign policy will remain unchanged, this including the strong support for the UN and international law, membership of NATO, the EEA Agreement and the status as non-member of the EU.

The purpose of Norwegian foreign policy is to safeguard Norwegian values and interests in a world that is rapidly changing. At the same time it is to promote the common good of the international community and help build a better organised world. The Government will intensify Norwegian efforts to combat poverty, promote equitable distribution and achieve a more democratic world order, both globally and regionally.

The Government signals that it will be more proactive in safeguarding Norwegian interest’s vis-à-vis the EU and that it will pursue an active European policy in a broad range of areas. The Government will work together with the EU on the basis of the EEA Agreement, but states that in cases where European market rules conflict directly with Norwegian interests, Norway will utilise all the opportunities provided by the agreements to safeguard Norwegian interests. The Government will not apply for Norway to become a member of the EU.

According to the inaugural address, the new Government will also pursue a more cohesive High North Strategy, this founded on a consideration of this area to be Norway’s most important strategic priority in the years ahead. High priority will be given to safeguard Norwegian economic, environmental and security policy interests in the North by means of a coherent policy that integrates the three. This policy also includes a strengthening of the co-operation between Norway and Russia, involving information exchange and democratic participation in civil society, especially through the Barents co-operation.

The inaugural address also identifies an UN-led world order to be in Norway’s interest. It is important for the new Government to uphold Norway’s profile as a nation of peace. The Government will intensify Norwegian efforts to help prevent, reduce and resolve conflicts. Norway will participate in UN peace-keeping and peace-building operations with civil and military personnel. The Government will furthermore pursue a development co-operation policy with an increased focus on contributing to economic growth and sustainable development and promoting human rights.  When it comes to defence and security, the Government wants Norway to continue to be a member of NATO and will use the organisation actively to develop a transatlantic dialogue and partnership, and to promote peace, disarmament, arms control and conflict prevention.

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The new Government.Photo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs.