The European Defence Fund and Norway


As a part of our project, GLOBSEC´s partner, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI),  published a policy paper analysing the position of third countries, particularly Norway, in relation to the European Defence Fund (EDF).

The project is titled “Enhanced European Opportunity Partners in the EU's Defence and Security Initiatives: Study case of Norway, and it is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence.

The establishment of the European Defence Fund (EDF) – along with the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), and the Capability Development Plan (CDP) – represents an important step towards a more coherent European security architecture. Through the EDF, taxpayer money is for the first time being spent on defence technology development in the European Union system. The objective of the EDF is to “foster the competitiveness, efficiency and innovation of the European defence industry” and thereby “contribute to the strategic autonomy of the Union”. In other words, it is economically and politically motivated; part of both industrial and security policy. However, it has also provoked uncertainty in terms of whether and on what terms non-EU countries can participate.


The Norwegian government should live up to its official policy and join the EDF as soon as possible, as it will ultimately prove more expensive – both financially and politically – to stay out than to join. More generally, Norway should be proactive in and supportive of the various EU initiatives aimed at enhancing European security

Author: Karsten Friis