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Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1905–)

The main task of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to secure and promote Norway’s interests internationally. Norway’s interests are determihed by such factors as its geographical location in a strategically important area, its open economy, its position as a coastal state and steward of substantial marine resources, and its extensive export of oil and gas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established on 1 December 1905, after the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Ministry of Trade (of 1903) had been acting Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 15 June 1905.

On 1 July 1913, shipping affairs were transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the abolished Ministry of Trade (of 1905).

On 1 October 1916, shipping affairs were transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the new Ministry of Trade (of 1916).

During the Second World War 1940-1945, Norwegian ministries were working under the legal leadership of Johan Nygaardsvold’s Government in exile in London, and under Nazi Germany’s occupation authorities in Oslo. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not exist as a separate ministry in Oslo.

On 8 May 1945, the ministry structure in Oslo was re-established as it was before 9 April 1940.

On 27 September 1974, affairs concerning the law of the sea and fishery limits were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 1 January 1979, these affairs were returned to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On 17 June 1983, development cooperation affairs were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 1 January 1984, these affairs were transferred to the new Ministry of Development Cooperation.

On 1 January 1988, the Ministry of Trade and Shipping was abolished. Its affairs were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On 1 January 1990, the Ministry of Development Cooperation was abolished. Its affairs were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On 1 January 1997, trade and shipping affairs were transferred from an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

On 16 October 2013, international development affairs were returned to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On 16 October 2013, EEA and EU affairs were transferred from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to an additional minister at the Office of the Prime Minister. On 16 December 2015, these affairs were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On 17 January 2018, EEA and EU affairs were returned to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, international development affairs were transferred to an additional minister in the Ministry.

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