Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

Norway and the EU

08/04/2021 - 15:31
EU relations with Country

The EU's relations with Norway

Norway is among the EU's closest partners. EU-Norway cooperation is based on shared fundamental values and underpinned by our common heritage and history, as well as strong cultural and geographical ties. Norway has a close relationship with the EU trough the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA) and several other bilateral agreements. The EU and Norway also enjoy a very close and active cooperation on foreign and security policy issues.

Norway is closely linked with the EU through membership in the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), which brings together all the 27 EU Member States and three of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein in the Single Market. Much of the cooperation and political dialogue between the EU and Norway take place in special EEA institutions, including the EEA Council, Joint Committee, Parliamentary Committee, and Consultative Committee. Norway is furthermore a member of the Schengen Agreement, which gives its citizens the right to travel passport-free within the Schengen Area, and a signatory of the Dublin Regulation on asylum policy.

The EU and Norway are very much aligned on the main foreign policy issues. Norway shares the EU’s support for the multilateral system and often aligns itself with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) declarations and restrictive measures. The EU and Norway have a dialogue on foreign policy at senior official level.

Norway is a Member of the Arctic Council. It supports the EU in obtaining formal observer status on the Arctic Council. The EU and Norway also work together in the framework of the Northern Dimension and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Norway is a long-standing partner of the EU in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions and operations, in which it regularly participates and offers contributions.

Norway has a Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) and a Permanent Security of Information Agreement with the EU, as well as a cooperation agreement with European Defence Agency (EDA). Norway also contributes with equipment and personnel to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

EU-Norway CSDP High Level consultations take place regularly.

Norway’s economic and trade relations with the EU are mainly governed by the EEA Agreement, which entered into force in 1994. The EEA Agreement extends the Single Market, with the exception of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, to the EEA countries. Under the EEA Agreement and its procedural provisions, Norway implements into Norwegian law EU directives and regulations governing the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital. The EEA is Norway’s largest export and import market.

As the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy are not part of the EEA Agreement, free movement of goods within the framework of the Agreement does not apply to all products. Nevertheless, Article 19 of the EEA Agreement provides a legal basis for the parties to agree on rules governing the progressive liberalisation of agricultural trade on a mutual beneficial basis. The most recent EU-Norway bilateral trade agreement negotiated on the basis on Article 19 of the EEA Agreement entered into force in October 2018.

By virtue of the EEA cooperation Norway also participates in a number of EU policies, agencies and programmes, covering areas such as enterprise, environment, education and research, competition policy, state aid, social policy, consumer protection, tourism and culture. Like other members of the Single Market, Norway contributes financially towards social and economic cohesion in Europe.

Norway and the EU share similar views with regard to sustainable development, as well as the need to promote the green economy, including by ensuring a green recovery from the crisis engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Norway is one of the world’s leading countries in terms of providing development assistance. As Norway and the EU share similar views on human rights issues, close cooperation takes place in various forums such as the UN, Council of Europe and OSCE. Similar to the EU, Norway promotes an integrated approach at both global and country level to enhance the humanitarian response.

Both Norway and the EU share strong support for the good-functioning of the multilateral system.

Norway is very closely aligned with the EU on climate policy and energy transition. It shares EU’s ambitions in this area. Through the EEA Agreement, relevant EU environment and climate law apply in Norway. Norway (and Iceland) participate in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) since 2008. In 2019, the European Union, Iceland and Norway agreed to extend their cooperation. The EU climate laws to reduce emissions from sectors outside the EU ETS, namely agriculture, transport, waste management and buildings (Effort Sharing regulation for 2021-2030); and to enhance benefits of carbon removals from land use and forestry (LULUCF regulation for 2021-2030) have been incorporated into the EEA Agreement.

Norway is a global leader in the field of human rights and a like-minded partner of the European Union. 

Norway participates in a large number of EU programmes of which the largest are research and development programmes and mobility programmes such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and. Norway has been very successful in competing in the programmes.

Norway and the EU are involved in several cultural public diplomacy activities, in addition to Norway participating in Creative Europe.

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