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Commissaris voor beleid buurlanden bilateraal overleg met Noorwegen (en)

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op maandag 21 mei 2007.

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, will be making her first bilateral visit to Norway on 21 May. She will meet with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, Speaker of the Parliament Torbjorn Jagland, have an exchange of views with the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and will give a speech at the Norwegian Government's Annual European Conference. The talks will take in bilateral relations, regional and foreign policy issues.

Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner says: "Norway is one of the EU's closest partners. Norway is integrated into EU co-operation as any non-EU member state can be: as part of the Internal Market in the European Economic Area and through close bilateral co-operation in common priority areas such as energy and maritime policy. Norway is also a key partner in foreign policy, not least in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Middle East and in the Sri Lanka peace process. The Northern Dimension co-operation is yet another important area of mutual interest, especially now that Russia has also become fully involved in it.â€

Norway is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and also participates in a number of EU programmes and agencies covering enterprise, environment, education and research programmes. Norway has been very supportive of EU enlargement, and contributes along with its EEA/EFTA partners to social and economic cohesion in the enlarged EU/EEA.

Bilaterally, Norway is associated to the Common Foreign and Security Policy as well as the European Security and Defense Policy, participates in Joint Actions and has pledged to contribute troops to the EU battle groups on the condition of a UN mandate; it also participates in the European Defense Agency. The EU works particularly closely with Norway in the Sri Lanka peace process, where Norway and the EU are co-chairs.

The EU and Norway enjoy close relations in the energy field. Norway is the world's third largest exporter of oil and gas, and the EU and Norway pursue an energy dialogue to co-ordinate energy policies, including research and technological development, such as carbon capture and storage and relations with other energy producing countries.

With the Helsinki Summit in November 2006 and the adoption of a new policy framework, the Northern Dimension is now a common policy of its partners, the EU, Norway, Iceland and Russia. The Northern Dimension has four geographical areas, the Baltic and the Barents Sea, the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad and the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic areas. The new Northern Dimension policy puts a great accent on environment and culture and specifically mentions areas such as indigenous people protection, public health and social well-being.

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