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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Norway and EU Sign New Security Partnership

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Brussels, – Norway yesterday bolstered its security and defense ties with the European Union through a new partnership agreement. The signing ceremony, held in Brussels just before the EU’s Schuman Security and Defence Forum, was attended by key figures including Norway’s Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram, Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

The agreement marks a significant step in the wake of Europe’s shifting security landscape, catalyzed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “NATO is, and will remain, the cornerstone of Norwegian defence and security policy. At the same time, the EU is increasingly seeking to strengthen its role in security and defence, in a way that complements NATO,” stated Minister Gram. He emphasized the importance of the partnership for the Norwegian defence industry, particularly in supporting Ukraine and boosting Europe’s defense production capacity.

The comprehensive partnership outlines ongoing cooperation and sets the stage for enhanced collaboration in crisis management, defense industry, space activities, critical infrastructure, and hybrid threats. “It provides a foundation for our already existing cooperation, while at the same time identifying areas where it would be beneficial to increase cooperation in the future,” highlighted Mr. Eide.

This new framework facilitates dialogue and consultations at all levels, granting Norway access to EU ministerial meetings and establishing an annual political dialogue on security and defense. The agreement also aims to strengthen consular cooperation, which is vital for crisis management and the welfare of citizens abroad.

Norway’s engagement with the EU is not new; it already participates in the European Defence Fund (EDF), the European Defence Agency (EDA), and the PESCO project on military mobility. The partnership reaffirms Norway’s commitment to the EU’s training mission for Ukrainian Armed Forces (EUMAM Ukraine) and introduces participation in EU programs for ammunition production (ASAP) and joint procurement of defense capabilities (EDIRPA).

The agreement also enhances the exchange of classified information and cooperation against cyber and hybrid threats, ensuring Norway’s continued involvement in EU civilian missions and defense industry programs.

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