A research team consisting of Dr Marco Marsili, principal investigator and initiative manager, and Cmdr CPT João Afonso Marques Coelho Gil, both researchers from the Centre for Research and Development of the Portuguese Military University Institute (CIDIUM)/Armed Forces General Staff (EMGFA), between January and February spent a 10- day field trip in Oslo, Norway and Reykjavik, Iceland, to meet representatives from partner institutions Centre for Security Policy of the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC) and Institute of International and European Law (IIEL) of the Reykjavík University (RU).
The study visit occurred in the context of the project codenamed North Atlantic Security and Defense Strategy (NASDS2022) supported under the Fund for Bilateral Relations, EEA Grants. The initiative aims to strenghten the relations between Portugal and donor countries Norway and Iceland, and to establish a long lasting and sustainable cooperation in the research areas of defence and security.
One of the purposes of the project is the organization of an international conference that will be held at the Military University Institute in Lisbon next May. Moreover, CIDIUM researchers discussed with partner organizations and representatives of other entities the opportunity to hold the NASDS conference annually or biannually, in order to make it an major international scientific event.
At the NDUC headquarters located in the Akershus Fortress, the Portuguese researchers held meetings with Professor Robin Marc Allers, a member of the scientific committee of the NASDS international conference, with Ms Marit Rye Ramberg, NDUC’s counsellor for international exchange, and with Professor Njord Wegge from the Norwegian Military Academy, who is heading a NDUC research group on military strategies in the Arctic and has started a project on NATO’s Northern flank. Among the topics addressed during the meetings, representatives from both institutions discussed about students, faculty and staff exchange in the framework of the EU Erasmus+ programme and opened-up for an agreement to access the respective libraries and book exchange.
At Reykjavik University, the CIDIUM research team gathered with Professor Bjarni Már Magnússon, director of the Institute of International and European Law (IIEL) of the Reykjavík University (RU), and Assistant Professor Snjólaug Árnadóttir, both members of the NASDS2022 scientific committee. Side meetings were held with Professor Agust Valfells, Dean of the Department of Engineering at the Reykjavík University and Professor Helgi Thor Ingason from the same department. Virtual meetings (via Zoom) were also held with Mr Egill Thor Nielsson, Senior Adviser at the Icelandic Centre for Research (responsible for Arctic Cooperation and bi-lateral Arctic cooperation with China), and Ms Embla Eir Oddsdottir, Director of Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN).
Dr Marsili and Cmd CPT Gil also held a meeting at the University of Iceland with Ms Pia Hanson Director of the Institute of International Affairs and its three centres, the Centre for Small States Studies, the Centre for Arctic Studies and Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre.
Reportedly, the field trip was successful and opened-up for a wider international collaboration.