Norway could become a part of EU’s defense cooperation

EUMaltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (L), Hungary's Prime Minister Victor Orban (2nd L), Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern (R) arrive to pose for a family photo during the European Union summit- the first one since Britain voted to quit- in Bratislava, Slovakia, September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

France and Germany opens for allowing non-EU countries to participate in the new EU defense cooperation. Norway looks very positively toward this.

The proposal for an enhanced defense cooperation in the European Union were among the main issues on the agenda when the EU-tops gathered for an informal summit in Bratislava on Friday.

State Secretary Øystein Bø from the Defense Ministry says the government is now closely monitoring developments.

Particularly interesting are the proposals France and Germany have put on the table.

– The Franco-German proposal open up for participation by European countries outside the EU, and we look at this very positively, says Bo.

Will await discussions

The Secretary of State will now await the discussions in the EU, saying it is too early to decide whether Norway should join the new initiatives. But it is positive that the EU is taking steps to strengthen security in Europe, he said.

– From the Norwegian side, we support close cooperation between NATO and the EU, and we focus on NATO and the EU complementing each other, says Bo.

The main message from the Norwegian side is that the EU and NATO must not get into each other’s beds. Increased defense efforts in the EU must complement NATO cooperation and not compromise on it.

The same point was also emphasized by several EU-tops when they arrived for the summit in Bratislava.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today