Thursday

29th Feb 2024

Norway hints at EU membership talks after 2007

Norway might resume discussions on EU membership after 2007, according to Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

After closely following this weekend's heated EU debate in Iceland, Mr Bondevik personally phoned Icelandic Prime Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson to keep abreast of the latest developments.

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He said that developments in Iceland could influence the Norwegian debate, according to NRK.

Iceland’s ruling Progressive Party decided after tough discussions at a general meeting over the weekend to keep the EU discussion on ice - but only until the next general meeting in 2007.

Meanwhile an internal committee of the party was tasked to formulate principles for eventual future EU membership negotiations, which will be presented at the next general meeting in 2007.

The final text adopted on Sunday (27 February) also said that the outcome of eventual membership negotiations with the EU would be put to a referendum.

Halldór Ásgrímsson, Prime Minister and chairman of the Progressive Party, told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service that he was satisfied with the outcome.

Mr Ásgrímsson was re-elected as chairman of the party yesterday with 78 percent of the votes.

Furthermore, more Norwegians have lately made up their mind on possible EU membership, although the gap between pro and anti-EU voters remains tight, according to a fresh Sentio-Norstat poll published by Norwegian dailies.

In February 46.4 percent were in favour of EU membership with 41.6 percent opposed. A further 12.1 percent of voters have not made up their minds.

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