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Norway a dynamo in research on the EU

Although Norway is not an EU member state, it is home to top-notch research groups with special expertise in the development of the EU and EU relations with the world at large. In tough competition from international research groups, the ARENA Centre for European Studies, the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo (UiO), and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) have won support for their respective projects on the EU.

Is the EU equipped to deal with crises such as the current refugee flow? This is one of the questions that Norwegian research groups have received EU funding to answer. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Acquired competency on the EU

Three of the ten projects awarded funding under the Horizon 2020 call “Europe as a Global Actor” will be led from Norway. All three projects involve active cooperation between Norwegian and prominent international research groups.

“It is very gratifying to see Norwegian researchers succeed in the competition for EU funding in an area focusing on the EU itself. These grants will give new momentum to the participating research groups and make them even more attractive partners for international cooperation,” says Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science at the Research Council of Norway.

NUPI, ARENA and the Faculty of Law at UiO have all taken active part in the Research Council’s Europe in Transition research initiative, using funding from the initiative to study developments within the EU and how these affect Norway. This gave them wide-ranging insight into the EU, which has been vital to their success under the EU call.

The three institutions will each be heading a Horizon 2020 project that will generate new knowledge about the EU’s role in the world.

Project manager Morten Bøås of NUPI. (Photo: NUPI) How to deal with the refugee flow

NUPI’s project will study EU crisis response. The project is designed to enhance understanding of both how the EU responds to crises and how this response is received by the affected parties in areas in crisis. 

The project’s ambitious objective is to improve the efficiency of EU crisis response mechanisms. Researchers from Ukraine, Tunisia, Mali and Afghanistan are participating in the project, along with researchers from various EU countries and previous conflict areas in Europe. Project manager Morten Bøås of NUPI points out that the current refugee flow to Europe makes the research particularly relevant.

Read more about the project on the NUPI website.


Project manager Helene Sjursen of ARENA. (Photo: UiO) The EU and global justice

ARENA’s project will examine the EU’s impact on global justice. Justice is a disputed concept both within and outside of Europe, and the researchers will be studying the political and structural challenges to justice in a global perspective.

The project is designed to provide new knowledge about the EU’s role as a global actor in important areas such as climate change, peace and security, asylum and migration policy, and trade and development. Researchers from South Africa, Brazil, India and China will be participating in the project alongside researchers from various EU countries.

Read more about the project on the ARENA website.


Project manager Beate Sjåfjell of UiO. (Photo: UiO) Regulation to achieve sustainable development goals

How can the regulation of public and private market actors within the EU promote the achievement of EU development goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals? This is the difficult question that the project at the Faculty of Law at UiO is seeking to answer.

The project takes European companies that sell products with an international life cycle to consumers and the public sector as its point of departure. The products come from developing countries and may end their life cycle there as scrap. The researchers will be investigating the social and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

Read more about the project on the UiO website.


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