Since 2013, NUPI researchers, together with colleagues at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), and with support from the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences (ISP PAN), have studied how the two countries can work together towards more efficient security, energy and migration policies.

The project, GoodGov, received funding from the Polish-Norwegian Research Programme, a part of the Norway EEA Grants Scheme. It was completed this spring, and officially finalized with a successful full-day conference in Brussels on 24 May.

‘Why study governance like this? Obviously, the question of governance is the question of how a country can cope with the situation around it’, said Assistant Professor Krzyszt Kasianiuk from ISP PAN in his overview of the project.

Proactive or reactive?

‘GoodGov combines four different dimensions. First, we wanted to see whether Poland and Norway were proactive or reactive as regards governance in the EU context. Then, we wanted to see if there were special learning mechanisms involved. Further, we wanted to see whether there are some fields for bilateral learning. And fourthly, we wanted to see if there are ways of comparing policies within the EU, and to what extent the two countries are comparable’, Kasianiuk went on to explain.

During the project period, there were several important events that had impacts on policymaking in the fields of security, energy and migration in Norway and Poland. Here we may note the crisis in Ukraine and the growing migration crisis.

‘When it comes to bilateral learning, we found that although Poland scores relatively low on Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) and Norway is evaluated higher, both countries have been reactive in a way: Poland because of EU and NATO conditionalities, and Norway because the country wasn’t fully prepared for the watershed events that took place. So we may conclude that both Norway and Poland should be more proactive, in a way’, said Kasianiuk.

A good example

‘The GoodGov project is successful in its own merits, and a stepping stone for further research,’ noted NUPI director Ulf Sverdup, also speaking at the conference.

In her opening remarks, Norway’s Ambassador to the EU, Oda Helen Sletnes, emphasized the quality of work conducted by the researchers: ‘I’m impressed by the results that have come out of this grant. Today’s conference and the research behind it is a very good example of research cooperation between Norway and Poland.’