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Research project

Norway and the EU towards 2030

This project takes a closer look at developments on key areas in the relationship between Norway and the EU towards 2030.

Themes

  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • Regional integration
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Europe
  • The Nordic countries
  • Climate
  • Governance
  • The EU

Events

Norway and the EU towards 2030 is a three-year project led by the Department for Europe and Trade (European Policy Section) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with NUPI as an external partner.

The purpose of the project is to contribute to competence enhancement, analysis and debate on topics and policy areas where developments in the EU are of particular importance to Norwegian interests.

The project will work on developments within four main topics: 1) EU foreign, security and defence policy; 2) EU's Green Deal; 3) the EU's work on health preparedness; and 4) Democracy and the rule of law in the EU

The project also hosts regular seminars.

Seminars and Events

 

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Populism and the Politics of Energy Transition

Kacper Szulecki gave a talk on at the impact of populism on climate action and decarbonization, both in their domestic and international dimensions, on February 8th at the OSUN Hub for the Politics of the Anthropocene in Vienna. 

 

 

 

Belgian Pre-Presidency Conference (PPC): “Towards the Next Strategic Agenda”

Pernille Rieker participated at the Belgian Pre-Presidency Conference in Brussels, where discussions focused on the future of key EU policies and the next Strategic Agenda. Pre-Presidency conferences are organised twice a year by TEPSA in the capital of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU prior to the beginning of its mandate, where also recommendations are presented to the incoming Presidency.  Rieker moderated the panel The EU’s Security and Defence Capabilities in a Changing Landscape.

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Book presentation and debate: A new perspective on Norway's room for maneouvre under the EEA Agreement

Norway is closely tied to the EU, through the EEA Agreement and several other agreements. What wiggle room and opportunities does Norway have in this cooperation? These questions were debated during the launch of the book  “Norway’s EU Experience and Lessons for the UK. On Autonomy and Wriggle Room,”  to which Marianne Riddervold and Øyvind Svendsen have contributed with chapters. Marianne Riddervold participated in the panel: Room for maneouvre and autonomy: What possibilites does Norway have to set and complete own goals? This panel discussed the significance of EU cooperation for the policy areas: climate and energy, security and defence, as well as trade and  primary industries, at the book launch 20 November 2023 at Kulturhuset in Oslo. The event was held in Norwegian.

European Political Community Observatory: Think Tank Forum 2023

Pernille Rieker and Christophe Hillion participated in the EPC Observatory  in Granada, Spain on September 29th. The think tank forum gathers think tanks and academics from across Europe to discuss and come up with policy proposals for the European Political Community on what concrete value it can bring when it comes to European security, migration policy and connectivity. 

Recording available here

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Nordic and Baltic Security Conference

Pernille Rieker participated in the panel "NATO Enlargement and European Security" at the Nordic Baltic Security Conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on 28-29th August. The panel discussed the EU as a security actor and the relationship between the EU and NATO.

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Seminar: The Hague Symposium on Space Diplomacy

Marianne Riddervold participated in the symposium on June 12, 2023, organized by The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Northeastern University, and Leiden University. Riddervold spoke about "The European Union: Alternatives for Geopolitical Competition".

Symposium on security and defence cooperation between the European Union and Norway

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NUPI, together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), jointly hosted a closed symposium on security and defence cooperation between Norway and the European Union in Oslo, Norway on 30th March 2023. The Symposium allowed for exchanges between key stakeholders on the future of EU-Norway security and defence cooperation, and served as a prelude to the annual bilateral dialogue on security and defence between Norway and the EU held on the same day in Oslo.

Seminar: Safeguarding the rule of law and democracy in Europe using financial means

Christophe Hillion moderated a seminar on 24. mars 2023 which gave an overview over different mechanisms that the EU has set up in response to the deterioration of rule of law and democracy in Europe, with a particular focus on financial conditionality which is of relevance also in the EEA context.

Schuman security and defence forum 2023

Pernille Rieker participated on 20-21 mars at an event hosted by the European External Action Service (EEAS), which invited participants from think tanks from across Europe to provide input to  Joseph Borell and his team around the questions to be discussed at the forum on Tuesday 21 march at the European Parliament, which the researchers also attended. Programme can be found here.

EUISS Annual conference 2023

Pernille Rieker participates at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) 2023 annual conference, held in Brussels on June 27th.  The theme of the conference was trajectories for European security and defence, where Pernille Rieker participated on a panel titled "Engaging with partners for security and defence."

External contributions:

The future of the liberal world order

Anne Applebaum and Ulf Sverdrup are guests in this episode og Civita's podcast.

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Project Manager

Pernille Rieker
Research Professor

Participants

Kacper Szulecki
Research professor
Marianne Riddervold
Research Professor (part time)
Ulf Sverdrup
Former Director
Øyvind Svendsen
Senior Research Fellow
Christophe Hillion
Research Professor
Elsa Lilja Gunnarsdottir
Research assistant

Articles

Articles
New research
Articles
New research

Ønsker ingen ny pandemi uten EU-samarbeid

Norge jobber for full tilknytning til EUs styrkede helseberedskapssamarbeid på så like vilkår som EU-landene som mulig.

NUPI seminar about NATO and nordic security

On 14th June, a group of experts met in Oslo to discuss NATO and Nordic Security.
  • NATO
  • The Nordic countries
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Articles
News
Articles
News

PODCAST: The EU’s role in European security and defence

On the 21 of March 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a Strategic Compass, a roadmap for the EU to become a stronger security and defence actor. But what does this really mean, and does it change the EUs role as a security actor in any significant way?
  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • Foreign policy
  • Europe
  • The EU
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Articles
News
Articles
News

PODCAST: Can Europe get out of Russian gas?

In this new episode of The World Stage, Jarand Rystad, Jakub M. Godzimirski and Ulf Sverdrup take a closer look at European dependence of Russian gas and the possibilities that lies within Europe.
  • Security policy
  • Economic growth
  • Globalisation
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • Energy
  • Governance
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Articles
News
Articles
News

The Ukraine war and the NATO responses in the Baltic and the High North regions

The World Stage had a chance to talk to NATO General Jörg Vollmer and Lieutenant General Yngve Odlo about the challenges that Russia represents in the Baltic and High North Regions, and how NATO and Norway can best respond.
  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • North America
  • Conflict
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New publications

Publications
Publications
Op-ed

The War in Ukraine is All About Democracy vs Dictatorship

A dictatorship has just brutally attacked its democratic neighbor. It’s not the first time in history that happens, but there are good reasons to see the war in Ukraine as the first one defining the conflict lines of this century.

  • Europe
  • The Nordic countries
  • The EU
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  • Europe
  • The Nordic countries
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Policy brief

The EU’s international cyber and digital engagements

Digital transformation is a key priority for the European Union. It drives economic growth and enables societal development. However, the EU’s leadership in digital matters and its capacity to deliver are not universally recognised. There is skepticism about the EU’s leadership and its vision for a human-centric digital future - one that places human rights and the rule of law at the center of technological innovation and digital transformation. Simultaneously, the EU’s global influence is limited by its own ability to deliver certain critical capabilities in the digital and cyber domains. While expectations for the EU’s role have grown, cyber and digital policies are governed primarily by an intergovernmental method. This policy brief looks at how the EU frames and implements its international cyber and digital engagements with third countries. What drives the cooperation and and what are the specific tools and mechanisms deployed by the EU? The policy brief also considers implications for Norway.

  • Cyber
  • The EU
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  • Cyber
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Policy brief

A more strategic European Union in a more contested space

Space is becoming an increasingly important domain for societies and politics alike, also from a geopolitical and hence security and defence perspective. The EU is a key actor in space, but its approach to space is changing in a more uncertain and contested geopolitical environment. While still focused largely on the civilian aspects of space, the EU has developed a more strategic approach towards space, increasingly using the domain also for security and defence, including military, purposes. As the EU develops quickly in a more challenging and uncertain environment, Norway needs to understand EU developments and their implications at an early stage, and work to secure participation where interests align.

  • The EU
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  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Policy brief

Adapting to turbulent waters: EU maritime security and implications for Norway

Maritime security has become a top priority for the EU, as evident in its Strategic Compass for security and defence (2022) where it was identified as a strategic domain. The intensification of geopolitical tensions has further extended strategic competition to the seas. At the same time, a proliferation of threats has emerged at sea, including the security of migration routes, human rights at sea, implications of climate change and global warming, and the pressing challenges posed by organised crime and marine terrorism. The attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines have heightened the urgency for safeguarding critical infrastructure at sea, for surveillance, and coastal and offshore patrolling. Governance of the high seas invites further challenges. They are considered part of the Global Commons that, as with outer space, the atmosphere and the poles, are largely beyond the jurisdiction of nation states. Against the backdrop of escalating tensions and decline in international cooperation, enhancing the EU’s maritime presence has been recognised not only as a paramount security imperative, but also as an economic interest of the Member States: The EU has the largest maritime territory in the world (counting exclusive economic zones), is home to 329 key seaports and most goods to and from Europe travel via the sea (90% of trade exports). In addition, up to 99% of global dataflows travel via subsea cables, and the EU’s energy dependence on oil and gas, which largely travels to the EU via the sea, remains high. Maritime security is thus among the fastest-growing EU policy areas. In addition to the threats listed above, Russia and China's increasing assertiveness at sea has intensified longer term processes towards an increasingly robust and multifaceted EU maritime foreign and security policy.

  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • The EU
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  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Report

Europeanisation of Norwegian security and defence policy. Nordic cooperation as vehicle.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European security has been placed on high alert, highlighting the importance of both the EU and NATO as key, although different, regional security actors. As the election of a more isolationist president in the US again in 2024 or 2028 cannot be excluded, boosting European security and defence should be a key objective for both Norway and its European allies. Such a Europeanisation should be seen as an add-on to Norway’s NATO membership, but should imply a more serious investment in various initiatives taken by the EU and key EU-member states (France and Germany), in addition to those taken by the UK. Strengthening Nordic security and defence cooperation should also be seen as a vehicle for a much-needed Europeanisation of Norwegian security and defence policy. With Sweden and Finland now entering NATO and Denmark returning to the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the potential for Nordic security cooperation as a means to this end has never been greater.

  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • The Nordic countries
  • The EU
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  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • The Nordic countries
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

The EU and the governance of the Maritime Global Space

This article investigates the extent to which the European Union (EU) contributes to the governance of Global Spaces by exploring its policies towards the maritime domain. In a more competitive and uncertain geopolitical setting, are the EU’s policies changing and becoming more strategic? Or does the EU continue to promote multilateral cooperation and regulation of the maritime Global Space, and if so, what type of governance regimes does it promote? Developing and applying three analytical models of Global Space policies, the article finds that the EU has been consistent in its approach, which reflects a combination of its strong interest in free navigation and an attempt to achieve sustainable growth through climate regulation. Despite more geopolitical conflict in these areas and in international relations more broadly, the EU’s approach to the maritime Global Space is to promote international governance regimes.

  • Foreign policy
  • Governance
  • The EU
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  • Foreign policy
  • Governance
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Chapter

EUs respons på krigen i Ukraina

  • Europe
  • Conflict
  • The EU
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  • Europe
  • Conflict
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

The European Union's space diplomacy: Contributing to peaceful co-operation?

The European Union (EU) has become a key player in space, second only to that of the USA. This article discusses what type of diplomatic actor the EU is in space by exploring whether it contributes to peaceful co-operation or if the EU — due to increasing geopolitical competition on Earth — is developing into a traditional realist actor. For this purpose, it applies three analytically distinct models of EU space policies, applicable also to other Global Commons areas. It finds that the EU does not treat space as an area of geopolitical competition. Instead, it contributes to space diplomacy through its focus on regulating and institutionalising space activities. However, rather than being driven by ‘the space flight idea’, the EU is committed to the peaceful development of space mainly for economic, strategic and societal purposes, in line with what one would expect of a liberal institutionalist actor.

  • Diplomacy
  • The EU
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  • Diplomacy
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Op-ed

Riddervold: Avtaler med EU – lettere sagt enn gjort

EU utvikler nye mekanismer for beredskap og krisehåndtering på alt fra helse til sikker kommunikasjon, sikring av infrastruktur og tilgang til kritiske råvarer. Norge vil som vanlig være med. Men er det en selvfølge at Norge får avtaler på bestilling? Og hvorfor drøyer det på områder der både EU og Norge ønsker en avtale, spør forsker Marianne Riddervold i denne kronikken.

  • The EU
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  • The EU
Publications
Publications

More than just a petrol station: Norway's contribution to European Union's green strategic autonomy

The past five years have seen far-reaching changes in international politics and trade, all of which forced European policymakers to reconsider the role and place of the ‘Old World’ in global affairs. The continuous rise of China and its ambition to play a larger role, matching its economic weight, requires new approaches to international trade. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed Europe’s import dependencies and the fragility of long and complex global value chains on which it relies. These vulnerabilities are visible in many strategically important sectors, from semiconductors (chips) through medicine to the production of items on which European Union’s visions of future decarbonization rest: photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, nuclear fuel etc. This Policy Brief has also been published as a Policy Brief within the GreenDeal-NET project

  • Europe
  • The Nordic countries
  • Climate
  • Energy
  • The EU
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  • Europe
  • The Nordic countries
  • Climate
  • Energy
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Research paper
Steven Blockmans

Keeping up with the emerging European Defence Union: synchronising third country participation

Years of underspending combined with off-the-shelf weapons deliveries to support the Ukrainian armed forces has confronted EU countries with a threefold challenge: to replenish stockpiles; replace obsolete Soviet era equipment; and reinforce the innovation of new capabilities. As a matter of urgency, member states have dramatically increased their defence spending, while the EU institutions have proposed a raft of new policy instruments to invest, develop and procure in a joined-up manner. There is now a serious opportunity for member states to meet old and new pledges by overhauling the EU’s defence industrial and innovation regime. But they shouldn’t do so in splendid isolation. The direct involvement of third countries will be necessary to coordinate priorities, foster the transfer of technology and materials, screen for investments by strategic rivals, and monitor the end-use of military capabilities developed across value chains. EU rules and conditions for third country participation in defence industrial and technological cooperation should be developed in such way so as not to signal to the US, Canada, Norway, Japan and other allies and like-minded countries that their companies are no longer welcome on the EU’s emerging single defence market. To suggest otherwise would neither be good for the future competitiveness of the European industry nor for the protection of the EU’s security interests.

  • Defence
  • Europe
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  • Defence
  • Europe
Publications
Publications
Scientific article
Marianne Riddervold, Eugenio Cusumano

Failing through: European migration governance across the central Mediterranean

Both today and under Gaddafi’s authoritarian rule, externalised migration controls have played a crucial role in EUropean irregular mobility governance across the Central Mediterranean. Offloading migration management on Tripoli is puzzling due to the fragility of its institutions, the ill-preparedness of its security forces, and widespread abuse against migrants. Why have European member states and EU institutions relapsed to relying on Libyan forces to govern irregular migration? In this paper, we argue that the EU has failed through the migration crisis in the Central Mediterranean by drawing on already established albeit ineffective and contentious policy tools. The collapse of Libya’s state apparatus, European Court of Human Rights’ censure of Italy’s illegal pushbacks and public opinion pressure temporarily displaced but did not fundamentally change EUrope’s restrictive approach to irregular mobility governance. While some new and less restrictive border enforcement policies were developed in response to the soaring death toll, this humanitarian turn was short-lived. By combining the mechanism of failing forward with institutionalist insights, our concept of failing through explains why the EU and its member states soon backslid into pre-existing institutional arrangements like bilateral agreements with Libyan authorities notwithstanding their problematic legal, ethical and political implications.

  • Migration
  • Governance
  • The EU
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  • Migration
  • Governance
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Frode Veggeland, Martin S. Time

Europeisk helsesamarbeid etter covid-19 pandemien

Covid-19 pandemien er en av de største krisene i verden etter 1945. I Europa ble nasjonale myndigheter og EU-systemet utfordret med tanke på hvordan krisen skulle håndteres. Særlig i de første fasene av pandemien var det stor variasjon i valgene av virkemidler. Landene innførte en rekke inngripende tiltak som fikk negative konsekvenser på tvers av landegrensene, blant annet for familiebesøk mellom land, arbeidsmobilitet, vareflyt, og forsyningssikkerhet. EU responderte i 2020 på krisen med å foreslå en styrking av helsesamarbeidet generelt, og beredskaps- og krisehåndteringskapasiteten spesielt. I dette notatet ser vi nærmere på EUs helsesamarbeid og mulige implikasjoner for Norge av arbeidet med å styrke dette samarbeidet i kjølvannet av pandemien.

  • Pandemics
  • Governance
  • The EU
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  • Pandemics
  • Governance
  • The EU
Publications
Publications

Making Sense of the European Side of the Transatlantic Security Relations in Africa

This article aims to investigate the character of transatlantic security relations in Africa: How can it be characterized? Have they become weaker or stronger over the past decade? How can this development be explained? As NATO has not yet been heavily engaged on the African continent, it is prudent to study the relations between the EU and the US. Africa has been of concern to the EU (and its member states) for decades due to its geographical closeness and historic bonds. Since 2001, for both Europe and the US, Africa has become a region of increasing security concern due to the threat of international terrorism—for Europe, we can also add the migration concern. The European side of this relationship has also been largely dominated by France, making the transatlantic security cooperation in Africa essentially about French-American relations. As France has taken the lead regarding Europe’s security and defense engagement in Africa, increasingly with the support of other EU member states and associated non-members, this bilateral relationship is more than simply cooperation between two states. By applying a framework that understands EU security and defense policy as a process increasingly characterized as a differentiated and flexible integration under French leadership, the development of the Franco-US security relations in Africa must be understood as an expression of the transatlantic security relations in this region.

  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Africa
  • The EU
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  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Africa
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Marianne Riddervold, Ruxandra-Laura Bosilca

The European Maritime Security and Defence Policy Architecture: Implications for Norway

Maritime security is high on the international and European security agenda, hence a number of new initiatives and actions have developed within the EU, NATO and through bilateral/minilateral agreements. To increase the common capabilities of Europe and secure more targeted responses, there is a need for better coordination between different organizations and forums. NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept and the EU’s parallel Strategic Compass offer an opportunity to do this. Bilateral and minilateral defence groupings can strengthen European maritime security by accelerating capability development and fostering improved levels of interoperability. Norway should further develop its political dialogue and practical cooperation with the EU, and secure participation in major defence initiatives like the EDF and PESCO, various programmes, and cooperative arrangements with the European Defence Agency (EDA). Norway should pursue further leadership roles within NATO to bolster both its national interests and transatlantic security within the maritime security domain. Norway should actively promote enhanced EUNATO cooperation on maritime security issues, including closer alignment of strategic thinking, policies and investments of the two organisations. Mini-lateral’ structures can allow Norway to join forces with like-minded nations to act rapidly on maritime issues of common importance. Norge bør forfølge ytterligere lederroller i NATO for å styrke både nasjonale interesser og transatlantisk sikkerhet innenfor det maritime sikkerhetsdomenet. Norge bør aktivt fremme forsterket EUNATO-samarbeid om maritime sikkerhetsspørsmål, inkludert nærmere samordning av strategisk tenkning, politikk og investeringer hos de to organisasjonene. Minilaterale’ strukturer kan tillate Norge å slå seg sammen med likesinnede nasjoner for å handle raskt i maritime spørsmål av felles betydning.

  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • Europe
  • The EU
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  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • NATO
  • Europe
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Report

European defence beyond institutional boundaries: Improved European defence through flexibility, differentiation and coordination

As a response to the changing geopolitical situation, initiatives aimed to strengthen European defence have been taken in NATO, in the EU, but also bi- and multilaterally between EU member states and associated non-members, such as Norway. This policy brief argues that all these processes must be taken into account when we want to measure the full security and defence capacity of Europe. Rather than a sign of fragmentation, they are preparing the ground for a new European defence architecture, characterised by a high degree of flexibility, which in the end may be better adapted to the current security context. To maximalise the effect of this differentiated defence architecture, however, a certain coordination between the different initiatives is needed. There is now a window of opportunity for such coordination, as two key processes are now running in parallel: the development of a new “strategic concept” for NATO and the development of a “Strategic Compass” in the EU. If this succeeds, we can hope for the development of a more flexible and capable European defence.

  • Defence and security
  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • Regions
  • Europe
  • Global governance
  • The EU
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  • Defence and security
  • Defence
  • Security policy
  • Regions
  • Europe
  • Global governance
  • The EU
Publications
Publications
Op-ed

Blog Post | The EU as a diplomatic actor in space

Space diplomacy, defined as ‘processed of dialogue that result in outcomes of cooperation or conflict on a given space issue’, has shielded space from great power conflicts playing out elsewhere – both during the Cold War and in the decades that followed.

  • Diplomacy
  • The EU
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  • Diplomacy
  • The EU