Small state, maritime great power? Norway's strategies for influencing the maritime policy of the European Union
In 2007 the EU Commission published the so-called "Blue Book" aimed at developing an Integrated Maritime Policy for the Union. Even though Norway is not an EU member and is usually referred to as a small state, this article shows how the Norwegian government was able to exercise significant influence on EU maritime policy development, positioning itself as one of the key actors. Applying the negotiation theory and tracing the process as it unfolded, this analysis identifies causal relationships leading to increased influence for Norwegian actors--particularly in respect to how issues concerning the Arctic became an integrated part of the policy. The paper concludes that even though the Norwegian actors had a strategic point of departure, utilizing objective advantages to maximize their own utility, their influence may also have been due to competence and sharing of knowledge. The article relies on official documents, but is to a large extent also based on interviews with key EU Commission and Norwegian governmental representatives. On an elevated, substantive analytical level the article contributes to the "small state" research agenda and its interest in how small states in international relations might influence policy outcomes and thrive in the international community.
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