Norway will have an active role in EU defense policy

European minister Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.Oslo.European minister Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Norway wants to participate actively in the EU’s efforts to strengthen its defense and security policy cooperation, according to European minister Elisabeth Vik Aspaker.

An improved European capacity for crisis management is a strength for the international community and for Norway, she acknowledged in her semi-annual testimony on important EEA and EU affairs in Parliament on Tuesday.
– Norway will therefore actively participate in the EU’s efforts to develop and strengthen military capabilities.
How we strengthen private and European defense capability and our ability to operate together, she said.
Vik Aspaker pointed to several initiatives to strengthen European cooperation on defense and security policy in the aftermath of the brexit referendum, including a French-German proposal.
Much remains unclear about these initiatives, but Vik Aspaker warns against a situation with unclear roles between the EU and NATO.
– The challenge arises if developments in the EU would lead to more obscure roles between the EU and NATO, to parallel structures between the EU and NATO, or to competition for the same resources, she said.
– This will weaken both organizations and Europe’s position. Both NATO and the EU assures that this will be avoided.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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