News story | Date: 2016-04-18 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Over the past few decades, relations between Norway and Poland have been revitalised. The Government’s clear ambition is to cooperate more systematically with countries of particular importance to Norway in our neighbouring areas, and to foster closer ties between Norway and these countries. That is why the Government has drawn up a specific strategy for Norway’s cooperation with Poland, which provides a basis for expanding ties between our two countries in a number of areas.
Why a separate strategy for cooperation with Poland?
The Norwegian Government’s Strategy for Cooperation with the EU 2014–17 makes clear that Norway is to play an active role in European cooperation and in developing new solutions to the common challenges Europe is facing. The Government will pursue an active European policy and will cooperate more systematically with EU member states of particular importance for Norway. It is therefore important that Norway takes an integrated, strategic and coordinated approach to its bilateral cooperation with Poland.
Poland has a population of 38.2 million and is the sixth largest economy in Europe. Trade between our countries is on the rise. More than 300 Norwegian companies have established operations in Poland. The country is now the largest export market for Norwegian seafood and the most important market in Europe for Norwegian defence-related products. Migration from Poland to Norway is high, and close to 100 000 Poles are registered as being resident in Norway. Norwegian students account for the third largest group of foreign students in Poland. Poland is also an increasingly influential player in Europe, with clearly defined interests in areas of major importance to Norway. Due to its political and economic weight, Poland has acquired a leading role in Europe.
Poland has been a member of NATO for 16 years and during this time it has become an important country in the Alliance, with clear ambitions to further increase its influence. The importance Poland gives to the Eastern Partnership and its close ties to Ukraine make it an important dialogue partner for Norway in our own work to promote stability and development in these countries.
The relations and cooperation that have been established through the EEA and Norway Grants schemes provide a unique starting point for further developing our bilateral relations and promoting Norwegian interests in Poland, in our neighbouring areas and vis-à-vis the EU.
Download: Strategy for cooperation with Poland
Strategic goals for Norway’s cooperation with Poland
- To expand political cooperation with Poland on foreign and security policy, and in particular on matters relating to European cooperation and NATO.
- To increase awareness and understanding in Poland of Norwegian interests and positions on important international issues, including EU/EEA matters, and to promote closer cooperation between Norway and Poland in international forums and institutions.
- To ensure strategic use of the EEA and Norway Grants as a basis for closer cooperation with Poland in areas where Norway has interests to safeguard.
- To strengthen Norwegian–Polish cooperation in the fields of energy, climate change and the environment.
- To facilitate increased trade and investment between Norway and Poland by supporting the efforts of Norwegian companies to invest in the Polish market, with particular emphasis on the areas of energy, defence-related products and seafood, and to work to secure better market access for Norwegian seafood.
- To increase awareness and knowledge of Norway and Norwegian policy in Poland. To reinforce and strengthen Norway’s positive image in Poland.
How can we achieve these goals?
All Ministries have been engaged in drawing up the strategy. The plan focuses on 15 priority areas: European policy, the Arctic, security and defence policy, human rights and democracy, the internal market, business cooperation, cooperation on research and higher education, climate and energy policy, biodiversity and pollution control, justice and home affairs policy, health and care, family policy (including child welfare), cultural cooperation, regional and local cooperation and public diplomacy.
Under each of the priority areas, specific action points have been identified in an associated action plan. As a living document, the plan will be updated as new topics and areas become relevant.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Embassy in Warsaw have an overall responsibility to coordinate and follow up the action points, in consultation with the appropriate ministries.