Research Project

Europe in transition – Small states and Europe in an age of global shifts (EUNOR )

2014 - 2017 (Ongoing) Project number: 238017/F10

What is the significance of the EU for small states in Europe today?

In the aftermath of the European crisis we observe numerous European reform attempts. At the same time, the world experiences significant economic and political shifts. This project aims at contributing to our understanding of how small states balance between autonomy and integration. It is empirically focused on how and to what extent Norway, as a small state, responds to, adjusts, and adapts to the current European transition.

We ask two general questions:

  1. Do small states respond to the changes by increasing their integration or by seeking greater autonomy?
  2. How, and to what extent, do the changing capabilities of small states affect their alternatives and choices?

The EUNOR project study the shifting balance between autonomy and integration in areas (1) fully covered by agreements with the EU (Internal market/EEA affairs) (2) partly covered by agreements with the EU (energy, foreign, security and defence), (3) areas with no agreements with the EU (external trade and investments).

EUNOR is multi-disciplinary: involving economists, legal scholars and political scientists. It is a inter-institutional partnership between strong research milieus in Norway, and it is supported by a a strong international network of experts on small states and European integration.

The research is empirically based and theoretically informed, and it builds upon the research based Europe Review (2012). The project will deliver intellectually innovative research and provide relevant information to the public and well-grounded policy advice to decision makers.


January 11 NUPI director Ulf Sverdrup and Senior researchers Kristin Haugevik, Arne Melchior and Pernille Rieker talked about Brexit for the EEA/EFTA delegation in the Storting.

Crossing Europe’s Borders - New approaches to migration in European law,  20 October 2016, 09.00-17.00 Gamle Festsal, Domus Academica

September 15 NUPI director Ulf Svedrup was invited to House of Lords for a open hearing on EEA and Brexit. You can watch the hearing here.

The 2016 mini conference Small states and Europe in an Age of Global Shifts was organized at NUPI September 8 and 9. The last part of the event will be open to the public. Watch it here.

The EUNOR seminar 'Brexit' and the EEA, organized in collaboration with the Centre for European Law, University of Oslo, took place on 2 September, 2016.

In October 2015, NUPI organized the EUNOR conference Europe in transition – Small States and Europe in an age of global shifts. The first part was open to the public, and can be viewed on YouTube.

See also the project's seminar series Norway meets Europe.


Research Council of Norway

Funding program