Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC. Photo: European Union.Børge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC. Photo: European Union

Foreign and Security Policy

Last updated: 31.03.2016 // Norway cooperates closely with the EU on foreign and security policy issues. It is in our interest to find common solutions to shared global and regional challenges. By acting together, we can strengthen our influence internationally.

Europe is experiencing times of change. We are facing complex and multidimensional challenges that require joint European coordination and action. Cooperation with the EU is crucial for safeguarding Norwegian interests in priority areas.

Norway has no formal agreements with the EU on foreign- and security policy cooperation. However, the EEA Agreement provides the basis for biannual consultations on foreign and security issues in the margins of the EEA Council meetings. In addition, policy coordination and consultation take place on a daily basis, primarily with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member states. The goal is to safeguard common positions and seek to make a difference in international affairs.

The EU invites Norway and the EFTA partners to consultations with the Council Working Groups on topics of common concern. Norway frequently aligns itself with the restrictive measures imposed by the EU against third countries. In addition, Norway is often invited to align itself with EU foreign policy statements, or with EU interventions in international organisations.

Norway and the EU enjoy close cooperation on many topical issues, such as the Middle East peace process and the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for development assistance to the Palestinian people; policy in the High North; and common challenges regarding energy and climate change. We also cooperate, for example, in the areas of counter-terrorism, development cooperation, human rights, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as in the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

The EU’s neighbouring regions are also Norway’s, and we have a common interest in maintaining the highest possible degree of security and stability in these areas. Norway’s cooperation with the EU in North Africa is a key element in the development of an integrated Norwegian Mediterranean policy. Norway supports the European Neighbourhood Policy, designed to promote economic, political and social development to the south and east of the EU’s borders.

Improved European crisis management capability would benefit both Europe and the rest of the international community. Norway seeks to play an active part in EU efforts to develop and strengthen military capabilities. Within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Norway has entered into a separate agreement with the EU for participating in EU civilian and military operations. Norway regularly contributes to the Nordic Battle Group under the auspices of the EU. In this vein, Norway has participated in several EU-led operations in the Balkans, on the Horn of Africa and in the Middle East. Furthermore, Norway has signed an agreement which enables Norwegian participation in the activities of the European Defence Agency.

Norway will intensify its cooperation with the EU on preparedness and response with regard to terrorist attacks, natural disasters, hybrid warfare and other serious threats. The ability to operate across borders is essential in this regard.

More information:
Document: The Norwegian Government’s Strategy for cooperation with the EU 2014 – 2017
Website: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Website: Ministry of Defence
Website: Ministry of Justice and Public Security


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