Foreign Policy

Norway and the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy

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) constitutes the so-called second pillar of the Union. The CFSP is a co-operation between the governments of the Member States, through their representatives in the Council of the European Union. The European Commission’s role in this area differs from the one it plays in the areas under Community competence (internal market, trade policy etc.).

Norway is a member of the
European Economic Area through the EEA Agreement, which covers a large part of the first pillar and the internal market. But as a non-member of the EU, Norway is not part of the CFSP. This does not, however, mean that Norway does not maintain close relations and co-operate closely with the EU on foreign policy issues. The EEA Agreement provides for a regular political dialogue with the EU on various issues, and Norway and the other EFTA States belonging to the EEA (Iceland and Liechtenstein) are regularly invited to align themselves with EU foreign policy statements.

Political dialogue between the EU on the one hand and Norway and the other EFTA/EEA States on the other takes place both at ministerial level, with at least two meetings a year between foreign
ministers, and at expert level, where senior officials from the EFTA EEA States meet their counterparts in some of the many CFSP working groups that are set up under the Council. 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: almost EUR 4.5 billion, including humanitarian aid and macro-financial aid, 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. Norway continues to play a role in the efforts to create a 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 major donor in this field.

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The Charlemagne building in Brussels, where DG RELEX, DG Trade and DG Enlargement are located.