Over 60% of Norwegian local governments actively take part in international programmes. The main reason for the high international interest is access to new knowledge and competences as vehicles for achieving strategic goals, according to a recent study undertaken by the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR). The study also shows that local governments’ participation in international networks contributes to regional development, as well as to remaining a learning organization. Many Norwegian local governments which have successfully participated in international projects once, tend to participate again.
Focus on Europe
Specific knowledge acquired in international work concerns various areas, including youth work, development of inclusive communities and improved business attractiveness. Most internationally oriented Norwegian local governments look to Europe when developing and delivering better policy. Many opportunities are available under the European Regional Development Fund, various EU programmes and through partnering under EEA and Norway Grants. Fewer opportunities for international local government partnering exist outside of Europe.
SDGs: New opportunities for international cooperation
However, Agenda 2030, approved by heads of states and governments from around the world at the 70th General Assembly of the UN in September 2015, provides room for further international engagement of local authorities. KS is currently engaging Norwegian authorities in a dialogue, aimed at including Norwegian local governments in the new global partnership, working for a human, just, inclusive and sustainable world by 2030.
For more information on recent international activities of KS, please refer to the annual report of 2015.