– The world is changing and we see a clear power shift to new regions and countries, especially in Asia. It is important that we adapt the foreign service to these changes. We must have the appropriate resources in the right place, says Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
Foreign Ministry started a restructuring in 2010 to free up resources to strengthen Norway's presence in several countries and regions in growth, especially in Asia. In 2011, nine countries have been strengthened by 12 positions – including in Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and India. The planned changes in 2012 will enable further strengthening attempts.
The review of Norway's diplomatic presence abroad also aims to use the foreign service's resources most efficiently and free up resources for necessary investments, among other things related to increased demands for security missions.
– New technology and new working methods offer new possibilities for performing foreign service assignments. It is important that we continue to get more out of the resources we have available in the foreign service. Together with the Nordic countries. we will work for closer cooperation between our missions abroad, said the Minister.
The following changes are planned in Norway's diplomatic presence in 2012:
The Embassy in Skopje (Macedonia) will be closed. The Ministry will ensure that Norway's relations with Macedonia maintain in a good way in the future.
The Norwegian presence in Hamburg will be changed. Today's general consulate turned into an honorary consulate general. Norway's industry-oriented representation in Hamburg continues under the auspices of the Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Seafood Export Council.
The organization of consular services to the Norwegians in Spain has changed. Today's General Consulate in Alicante will be closed, but the embassy in Madrid will also be enhanced with a position. The Madrid consular will regularly travel to several areas where there are many Norwegian residents to provide consular assistance.
Also Norway's presence in Africa and Asia will be strenghten till 2013.