Norway and EU countries share fundamental values and interest in finding common solutions to global and regional challenges.
Norway and the EU have no formalized agreements on foreign policy, but policy coordination and consultation take place on a regular basis, primarily with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the member states. The EU invites Norway and the EFTA partners to consultations with the Council Working Groups and the the EEA Agreement facilitates biannual political dialogue on foreign policy. Heads of government meet regularly and there are ad hoc meetings with EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
When the EU agrees on common positions and declarations on current foreign policy issues, Norway is invited to align itself with these positions and declarations, which, in the vast majority of cases, it does. Norway frequently aligns itself with the restrictive measures imposed by the EU against third countries.
Norway and the EU cooperate closely on 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, counter-terrorism, development aid, human rights, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as in the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
Norway supports the European Neighbourhood Policy, designed to promote economic, political and social development to the south and east of the EU’s borders.
Cooperation on security policy
Norway’s practical cooperation with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is strongest in the area of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Norway has entered into a separate agreement with the EU for participation in EU civilian and military operations, regularly contributes to the Nordic Battle Group and has participated in EU-led operations in the Balkans, on the Horn of Africa and in the Middle East.
In March 2006, Norway was the first country outside the EU to enter into a cooperation agreement with the European Defence Agency (EDA). The agreement establishes an arrangement for the exchange of information, and gives Norway the opportunity to present its views on all aspects of EDA’s activities. The agreement also paves the way for Norwegian participation in EDA projects and programmes. Norway makes effective use of the cooperation agreement with EDA, and it participates in a range of relevant research programmes and projects that ensure deliveries for the Norwegian defence industry.