Report

Common Fears, Common Opportunities? Czechia and Norway in the changing international context

Published: 17 Mar 2020
Summary:

With long-dominant structures in flux, European states – and perhaps smaller ones in particular – are now forced to rethink their foreign policy approaches and practices.

This policy briefs outlines how one small Northern European state, Norway, and one Central European state, Czechia, assess and respond to a changing international political context. While located in different geopolitical settings, and with different histories, political systems and resources at their disposal, Norway and Czechia operate under many of the same international framework conditions.

How are Norwegian and Czech officials and policy makers evaluating contemporary developments? What do they identify as the key fears to which they must respond? Which partners and institutional structures have they traditionally relied on – and what indications of change (if any) can we now observe?

We find that Norway and Czechia face many common fears – from concerns about the international order and their global sense of place, to challenges to key institutions such as NATO and the EU, and concerning specific issues such as climate change, energy security, territorial security, and how to best respond to migration. We argue that these common fears could provide a springboard to greater cooperation that can diversify Czechia and Norway’s support networks and entrench a greater sense of international belonging for both countries.