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Norway – optimising EU non-membership to maximise mutual European added value

Published: 17 Mar 2021
Summary:

Several countries outside the European Union have cooperation agreements with the EU that integrate them more or less into European projects of their choice. One of the ‘third’ countries most integrated into EU activities and EU regulations is Norway. What motivates the Norwegians - whose country would easily qualify for EU membership in all respects - to opt for very far-reaching cooperation, while choosing not to have a full say in all the rules and regulations that such cooperation involves? Pernille Rieker is Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, specialised in European integration and European foreign and security policy. In this article she explains how the search for European added value brings Norway very close to EU membership, and why the country chooses to go no further.