Norway’s FM: – Europe must take more responsibility

Last updated: 05.10.2016 // Norway’s foreign affairs minister Børge Brende discussed European security at a policy event at Norway House on 4 October.

Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende joined Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, in a policy dialogue on security at Norway House on 4 October. The event titled “Delivering security in a turbulent world – Norway and the EU” was co-hosted by the  Mission of Norway to the EU and the European Policy Centre (EPC).

Brende and Leffler made opening remarks, before joining in a discussion on the roles of Norway and the EU in addressing conflicts and geopolitical tensions inside and outside of Europe’s borders.

New tools needed

– We are at a crossroads in foreign- and security policy, and Europe must take more responsibility for its own security. We see a different security landscape today than only a few years ago, and we need to use tougher tools to solve these issues. What happens in Libya today will have consequences in Europe tomorrow, said Brende in front of a crowd of over 100 invited guest.

Conflicts across North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, and large migration flows, pose new challenges to European security. Leffler stressed that strengthening Europe’s defence and security must include cooperating with partner countries outside the union.

– We need to look at how countries in other parts of the world can strengthen their resilience politically, economically and on security, and how we can support that resilience, said Leffler.

Both speakers agreed that key factors include improved governance, economic opportunity and education.

Continued Norway-EU Cooperation

The EU recently presented its Global Strategy on foreign and security policy and Norway is preparing a similar white paper to be presented to Parliament in the spring. Norway and the EU are closely aligned on foreign and security policy, and in closing, Leffler said Norway and the EU should use their new strategies to find further ways of cooperating.


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