Disputation: Synnøve Ugelvik

Cand. jur Synnøve Ugelvik will defend her thesis for the degree of philosophiae doctor (Ph.D.): Inside on the Outside - Norway and Police Cooperation in the EU

Synnøve Ugelvik

copyright: Elise Koppang Frøjd, UiO

Trial lecture - time and place

Adjudication committee


Chair of defence


Norway is not an EU member. Or is it? This thesis shows that Norway is tightly interwoven with the EU through extensive police cooperation measures and agreements. The State and the police are traditionally closely connected phenomena: One often speaks of the police as the prolonged arm of the government or law.

The thesis shows that not only may foreign police forces increasingly operate on Norwegian territory and vice versa, but in addition, a long line of regulations and cooperation instruments from the EU level are incorporated into Norwegian law and society.  What does it imply to be a sovereign State in Europe today, and what implications does Norway’s formal status as a non-EU member have? Are the Norwegian police fundamentally different following the Norwegian accession to the Schengen cooperation, which served as a major milestone for the intensity of the police cooperation?

The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part has a historical perspective. It seeks to illuminate what the Norwegian police as such are by providing insight into its development from an early local and partly voluntary function in the Viking era and the early Medieval age, via increasing centralization alongside the development of Norway as a State in union with Denmark and Sweden, up to the modern independent state police force that was regulated in a national law in 1927.

The second part provides a thorough and detailed insight into the international police cooperation mechanisms that have been developed through EU regulations. The evolvement of the EU as an increasingly important actor on the justice and home affairs area is discussed alongside Norway’s relation to this EU field of action, including its possibility to influence the developing instruments. This part is a comprehensive account of the Norwegian possibilities within the EU police cooperation mechanisms.

In the final part, the various effects and consequences of what the thesis calls a new police situation are discussed. The new situation has both positive and negative sides. One of the most striking aspects is that Norway as a State seems to show remarkably little interest in the fact that central aspects of what is arguably part of the core of the State’s tasks -  policing the territory - is to an increasing degree being decided at the EU level. Norway is hardly ever raising critique or taking advantage of its outsider position to actually stay out of justice and home affairs developments that raise massive debates in EU Member States.

Provocatively, the thesis argues that Norway was only completely sovereign as a State between 1905 and 2001, until the Schengen cooperation entered into force for Norway.

Published Nov. 20, 2014 1:28 PM - Last modified Dec. 22, 2017 9:44 AM