Thursday

19th Oct 2017

EU pushes Norway for more cash to cover Romania and Bulgaria

  • Norway sells a lot of fish to the EU (Photo: EUobserver)

The European Union has asked Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to pay more money if they want to do business in the bloc's two new member states, Bulgaria and Romania, with oil-rich Norway to foot most of the bill.

The three non-EU members, part of the European Economic Area (EEA), pay annual contributions to the EU in return for access to the bloc's internal market allowing Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to sell their goods and services across the union.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We have given a generous offer which should be the basis for an agreement now," said Norway's ambassador to the EU and the chief negotiator on the issue, Oda Helen Sletnes, according to the NTB news agency.

But this is not enough for the European Commission. "We have made progress, but we are not there yet," the EU's negotiator Matthias Brinkmann said.

"We still don't see an equal treatment between Romania and Bulgaria and the ten countries which became members in 2004," he pointed out.

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are currently negotiating with Brussels their access to the lucrative EU market, which was enlarged when Bulgaria and Romania joined the bloc on 1 January 2007.

Brussels wants Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to contribute as much proportionately to the two new member states as they did when the ten new member states joined in 2004, so as to not discriminate against them.

Back then, Norway's annual contribution alone increased ten-fold to €205.8 million.

Brussels had originally asked for an annual increase of €71 million from 1 January 2007 to 30 April 2009, when the whole EEA agreement will be renegotiated.

The EU demand is now down to €65 million but the three EEA members only offered €55 million - of which Norway will pay €53 million - when the parties involved met on Friday (16 February).

Despite the lack of agreement, the negotiations will now continue at expert level to deal with technical questions.

Norway fears it will come under pressure to meet the EU demands when the EEA committee meets on 16 March if the €10 million discrepancy is not solved before then.

Norway to pay more for EU market access

Non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will have to pay at least €70 million extra a year for access to the bloc's single market if Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union next year.

Turkey accuses Merkel of racism

Turkish foreign minister said German chancellor's call to end EU accession talks was "same rhetoric as racist parties".

News in Brief

  1. EU summit moved to previous building after fumes scare
  2. Catalonia will 'not back down'
  3. New toxic incident in EU building ahead of summit
  4. Murdered Malta journalist's family invited to Parliament
  5. EU food safety chief denies keeping studies 'secret'
  6. EU states pledge 24,000 resettlement places so far
  7. US ready for arms sale to update Greece's F-16 fleet
  8. Austria's Green leaders step down following election failure

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU okays Privacy Shield's first year
  2. EU seeks to decrypt messages in new anti-terror plan
  3. EU agencies defend research ahead of glyphosate vote
  4. Spain points at elections as exit to Catalan crisis
  5. How EU can ensure Daphne Caruana Galizia's legacy survives
  6. Juncker dinner to warm up relations with eastern EU
  7. Court hearing in MEPs 'private' expenses battle
  8. The unbearable lightness of leadership