Saturday

21st May 2022

Norway frustrated over relationship with EU

Non-EU member Norway is growing increasingly frustrated over its lack of influence over Brussels' decision making process, an internal document shows.

Oslo's interests are getting harder to defend, as the EU is expanding its competences beyond what the initial terms of the agreement regulating Norway's participation to the bloc's internal market covered, an internal note of the Norwegian ambassador in Brussels, obtained by Aftenposten, says.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Oslo wants to have more say in EU decisions (Photo: Wikipedia)

Norwegians rejected EU membership twice – in a first referendum held in 1972 and another one in 1994. Oslo joined the EU internal market and automatically adopts all legislation relating to it. It has a veto right over some areas, which it has never used.

Norwegian ambassador Oda Helen Sletnes, who wrote the report complains that her country cannot keep up with the EU's fast and continuous transformation.

In July, negotiations between Norway and the European Commission on the renewal of a funding scheme for the bloc's new member states worth over €1 billion failed to be concluded. The EU executive had hoped for a substantial top-up, while Oslo was looking at better conditions for its fisheries exports on the EU market – another file being negotiated with the commission.

A spokeswoman for the permanent representation of Norway in Brussels declined to comment directly on the document published by the Norwegian newspaper. She referred to the statements made by foreign minister Jonas Gahr Store in reaction to the article, who said it was a "challenge for Norway to relate to a EU that has grown both in size and in depth."

The so-called European Economic Area agreement (EEA) signed in 1994 between the EU and Norway was "static", he said, while the EU institutions were in "continuous development."

"Norway has nevertheless shown good capabilities in meeting these challenges," the minister added.

Magazine

Norway to renew regional aid for EU newcomers

Non-EU members Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are set to renew a five-year funding scheme of over €1 billion for energy, social and democracy projects in the bloc's poorest member states.

EU lobbies Hungary to break oil sanctions deadlock

After the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Budapest trip, Hungary suggested it wants EU funds to offset the extra costs from receiving different oil sources, and the increased energy prices the planned Russian oil embargo entails.

Political groups shun far-right pro-Kremlin MEP

French MEP Thierry Mariani from the far-right Identity and Democracy Group is spearheading a report in the parliament's foreign affairs committee. The socialists are boycotting it.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  2. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  3. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  4. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  5. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  6. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'
  7. More EU teams needed to prosecute Ukraine war crimes
  8. French EU presidency struggling on asylum reforms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us