New white paper on Norwegian foreign and security policy

The global security situation has changed significantly in recent years and the world has become more unpredictable. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is drawing up a new white paper to discuss how Norwegian foreign policy can respond to these challenges.

The decision to prepare this white paper was taken in autumn 2015, and it will be presented in the spring 2017. This work will take the form of a project, which has the Norwegian title Veivalg i norsk utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitikk, will consider the future course of Norwegian foreign and security policy.

‘The main lines of Norwegian foreign and security policy will remain unchanged. Nevertheless, we need to adapt to a rapidly changing world. We need to set priorities. We need to clearly define Norway’s interests. We need to make some crucial policy choices. The project will help us determine the best possible future course and foster an informed debate about what the various choices entail,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Key topics

Europe’s southern neighbours are experiencing crises, international law, which has served Norway well, is being disregarded, and European cooperation is being put to the test.

We are seeing shifts in the balance of power in a world that is becoming ever more closely interconnected. At the same time, we are facing common challenges that could trigger or exacerbate conflict, such as climate change and scarcity of resources.

Although there are many positive developments and foreign policy successes, the turbulence and acute crises we have witnessed in recent years have increased the general sense of vulnerability,’ said Mr Brende.

How is this affecting Norway? And how should we adapt our foreign and security policy?

Invitation to a broad debate

Mr Brende hopes for broad participation in this project. Input will be gathered from various centres of expertise as well as from the general population, and a number of debates will be held across the country.

The project will be launched at the House of Literature in Oslo on 8 February, and both Mr Brende and Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide will take part in this event.

Written input to the white paper can be sent to: veivalg@mfa.no. This should be concise and to the point.

Information on the various debates will be updated on the Ministry’s Facebook page and at #Veivalg.