European political and economic cooperation is a significant link between our two countries. Croatia became a member state of the European Union on July 1 2013. While Norway is not a member of the EU our government pursues an active European policy under the European Economic Area Agreement. Norway also participates in key aspects of EU cooperation in the area of justice and home affairs, of which the Schengen cooperation is the most important.
Norway is particularly committed to reducing social and economic disparities within the EEA through the EEA and Norway Grants. Croatia became eligible for funding when the country joined the EU. Croatian projects have since received €9.6 M.
Defence and security issues are also central elements of Norwegian-Croatian relations. Both countries regard The North Atlantic Treaty Organization as an important safeguard to European and transatlantic security. As a founding member of NATO, Norway has been an active participant since its inception on April 4 1949. Former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg took up office as NATO Secretary General on October 1 2014.