Norwegian participation in EU programmes 2021–2027

The Government plans for Norway to participate in a number of EU programmes during the period 2021–2027. While some of this is a continuation of existing programme cooperation, Norway also intends to take part in new programmes.

The EU’s focus on achieving a green and digital Europe is a clear component in the programmes in which Norway has chosen to participate.

‘For Norway, these are key priority areas that we would like take part in, and that will have an impact on a wide range of sectors. Norway’s participation in EU programmes is an essential part of its cooperation with the EU. Several of the programmes give Norway access to critical research, infrastructure and technology that would be difficult for us to develop on our own,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

Norway plans to participate in EU programmes in areas including research, education, culture and media, health, digitalisation, emergency preparedness and defence.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of close cooperation in Europe. Our participation in the EU4Health Programme and the European Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) has given Norway access to useful tools to help manage the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Under the UCPM, 600 Norwegians were given help to return home during the outbreak of the pandemic,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.

One of the new programmes in which Norway will now take part is the Digital Europe Programme (Digital). This is a new investment and capacity-building programme for the digital transition and use of innovative digital technologies in society and the business sector. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) in Telecom and ISA2  programmes will be continued under the Digital programme.

‘It is vital for Norway to be part of the European digitalisation effort. Pooling its resources will enable Europe to build up much-needed capacity in areas such as artificial intelligence, supercomputers and cybersecurity. This is essential for Norway’s increasingly knowledge-based and data-driven economy, and will be crucial for the competitiveness of all industries in future,’ said Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation Linda Hofstad Helleland. 

Norway will also continue to participate in cooperation on research and innovation under the Horizon Europe framework programme, the EU’s key funding programme in this area.

‘Major societal challenges such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic do not stop at national borders and neither should the solutions. Taking part in the world’s largest research and innovation programme will give us access to research talent, up-to-date information, new markets and infrastructure. This is crucial for Norway,’ said Minister of Research and Higher Education Henrik Asheim.

Participation in the EU programmes has enabled many Norwegian students to study as exchange students at European institutions of higher education. This area of cooperation will be continued through participation in the EU’s Erasmus+ Programme.

Norway will continue its participation in Creative Europe, the European Commission’s framework programme for supporting the culture and audio-visual sectors. This programme enables the Norwegian cultural and creative sector and artists and cultural workers living in Norway to reach a wider audience, and provides valuable networks, new skills and new earning opportunities. Cultural cooperation strengthens cohesion and democracy in Europe and is especially important in times of crisis.

Norway will also continue its cooperation under the EU Space Programme.

‘Norway’s geography, topography, and industry and settlement patterns make it one of the greatest beneficiaries of participation in the EU Space Programme. Satellite data are used widely by the Norwegian public administration, business sector and society at large to aid in fundamental tasks such as navigation, maritime search and rescue, climate and environmental monitoring, avalanche and landslide warnings, and ice forecasts. Such data also play a vital role in Norway’s ability to uphold sovereignty over its territorial waters,’ said Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø.

During the new period, Norway will participate for the first time in the European Defence Fund (EDF), the EU programme for defence cooperation.

‘The EDF promotes the joint development of defence material and defence-related technology in Europe. Norwegian participation is important for Norwegian industry and R&D stakeholders, and facilitates access to the European defence market,’ said Minister of Defence Frank Bakke-Jensen.

The Storting (Norwegian parliament) must formally approve the proposal for participation in the EU programmes, and is expected to do so at some point during spring 2021.

The Government is planning for Norway to participate in the following programmes:

  • Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
  • Erasmus+, the EU programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport
  • Creative Europe, the European Commission’s framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors
  • The EU Space Programme
  • The EU4Health Programme
  • The European Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM)
  • The European Defence Fund (EDF)
  • The Digital Europe Programme (Digital)
  • The EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) strand under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)
  • Various activities under the Single Market Programme
  • The InvestEU Programme, which brings together the European Fund for Strategic Investments and 13 other EU financial instruments