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Official visit to Germany: Defence Industry Conference in Munich

Speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the Defence Industry conference "Norway and Germany - a strong partnership within the defence industry" in Munich, Germany 7 November 2023.

Sehr geehrter Herr Staatssekretär, 

Sehr geehrter Herr Staatsminister,  

Sehr geehrte Abgeordnete, 

Meine Damen und Herren,  

Germany and Norway share a long history of cooperation in the defence sector 

Today’s conference on defence industry is, unfortunately, more relevant than we had hoped for. We gather here in Munich in deep concern for the human suffering in Ukraine and in the Middle East.  

Against this backdrop, we must stand together to protect our values, human rights and the rule of law that we build our societies on.   

Germany and Norway share a strong commitment to promoting peace and security.  

We are steadfast supporters of the UN.  

We are close allies in NATO.  

We are expanding our cooperation on defence, bilaterally and in a European context.  

Germany and Norway have joined forces on the ground in a range of multinational military operations. From Afghanistan to Kosovo, our troops have worked side by side. Guided by a shared determination to uphold international law and make the world a safer place. Today, they are standing shoulder to shoulder in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania and in the NATO Response Force. 

Our troops are also working together to assist Ukraine in its fight to defend itself against the Russian aggression. Here in Germany, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have received military training through the German-led EU mission. The participation of Norwegian servicemen and women in this collective European effort further strengthens relations between our two countries. 

Russia’s war against Ukraine has highlighted the need to enhance our cooperation – at political level, military level and industry level – in order to safeguard our security. 

Technological and industrial cooperation is a cornerstone of our long-standing defence partnership. Both Germany and Norway have cutting-edge defence industries. Cooperation between our two defence sectors has led to the development of advanced military technologies. It strengthens our defence capabilities. And it creates jobs and economic opportunities, well beyond the defence sector itself. 

Our collaboration is based on our shared understanding that we stand stronger when we stand together. The German-Norwegian submarine cooperation is a case in point - and something unique. We are building identical state of the art submarines- in SpitzenklasseCompanies that used to compete are now working together to come up with innovative and better solutions. Partnership has triumphed competition – for the better of our common security. This vision shared by our two nations became a reality with the keel-laying ceremony in Kiel on the 12th of September when the production started off. New opportunities for cooperation will also arise from Norway’s recent investment in German-built Leopard battle tanks.  

Hopefully, this conference will fulfil its purpose: To learn from each other, to gain inspiration and find common ground and new synergies.  

German friends, thank you for your dedication to safeguarding European security and your steadfast leadership in difficult times. Norway greatly values its friendship with Germany, and we remain committed to working together to further strengthen our strategic partnership.  

Ich danke Ihnen allen für Ihr Engagement und Ihre intensive Arbeit. Ich wünsche Ihnen viel Erfolg für die Konferenz.  

Vielen Dank. 


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