The funding will be provided to the research programme UTENRIKS (research on international relations, foreign and security policy and Norwegian interests) at the Research Council of Norway, with NOK 6 million going to the sub-programme ‘Europe in Transition’ and NOK 5 million to the sub-programme ‘Asia in a Time of Change’.
‘Many of the major social challenges we are facing in Norway today are linked to political, economic and social changes that are taking place in the rest of the world. Norway has outstanding research groups, which will now have more opportunities to produce high-quality research on important current issues,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Europe and Asia are two continents that are particularly relevant to Norway, and they are both undergoing major change. The Government’s increased focus on knowledge about Europe and Asia is important for maintaining and further developing dynamic Norwegian research communities. National funding is also crucial for ensuring that research groups can continue to meet the standards for obtaining EU funding for major, international projects. In addition, strengthening research communities working on Europe and Asia will help to develop new and relevant expertise for the Norwegian public and private sectors.
Closer defence cooperation in the EU and Brexit are two developments that will have an impact on European cooperation. Knowledge about issues such as migration and challenges to the rule of law will also be vital. The Government has therefore proposed an allocation of NOK 6 million to the research programme ‘Europe in Transition’.
We are reminded almost daily of the impact Asia is having on Norway’s economy, politics and security. Asia is becoming increasingly important for Norway, and the Government has therefore proposed an allocation of NOK 5 million to the research programme ‘Asia in a Time of Change’. This research programme also receives annual funding of NOK 20 million from the aid budget.
The increased funding for foreign policy research is in line with the Government’s plan to step up support for research, as set out in the long-term plan for research and higher education.