Italy and Norway are located at the opposite ends of continental Europe, both playing crucial roles within NATO in the southern and northern flanks respectively. Under the surface of apparently diverging priorities, there are avenues for cooperation between the two countries. Rome is invested in European defence initiatives, being a driving engine of EU defence cooperation while participating in cooperative defence industrial programmes with the UK and the US. Italy is also one of the principal contributors to NATO operations and in general is keen to strengthen both NATO and the EU’s defence outlook in order to enhance its own security. This peculiar position makes Rome an ideal interlocutor for matters tied to defence and defence industrial cooperation, especially for third countries wishing to retain access to the EU defence market, including Norway. The High North is a region of interest for Italy, as shown by multiple deployments of Italian forces as part of NATO exercises and operations. From an Italian perspective, then, a closer relationship with Norway would enable useful defence cooperation and exchanges of information and best practices.
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