Transnational actors (TNAs), such as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are often assumed to be autonomous in their attempts to influence states. But whenever NGOs and states share common interests or objectives, opportunities for mutual influence exists. (Theoretical) Discussions in International Relations (IR) have largely overlooked this possibility. However, recently more scholars are paying attention to opportunities for reciprocal relationship between states and transnational actors. Informed by this new literature this study examines how Norwegian engagement policy towards the Western Balkans has been shaped by a complex relationship between Norwegian NGOs and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). My case study demonstrates that the relationship between state authorities and NGOs in the formulation of the Norwegian Western Balkans policy, is thus best described as a reciprocal relationship. My argument is that the Norwegian state authorities, exercise greater influence on some NGOs than on others. In other words, depending on various factors some NGOs are likely to be more influenced by the MFA than others. While some research has suggested that states influence TNAs in two ways, namely through resources and through framing their normative framework of meaning (see Hëgel and Peretz 2005), the present study suggests that the efficiency of these strategies on the part of the state largely depends on other factors as well, namely the expertise of the NGO vis-à-vis the state, as well as their access to other normative frameworks of meaning through international or global alliances with other TNAs. In the present case, the state’s ability to influence NGOs depended not only upon domestic or national factors, but also on international ones.