Monday

15th Apr 2024

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, with oil-rich Norway paying almost the whole bill, Norwegian media reports.

The European Economic Area (EEA) pays 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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

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

... or subscribe as a group

Norway currently pays €205.8 million in annual contribution - ten times more than before the ten most recent member states joined the EU in 2004.

The European Commission has not confirmed the precise level of the EFTA countries' post-Romania and Bulgaria contribution but says the increase will be nowhere near the one faced in 2004.

The EU executive will soon receive the mandate from EU leaders to negotiate the exact price Norway and the other two EFTA countries are to pay.

"If it was rich Schwitzerland that became a new member state, then there really wouldn't be any talk of Norway and the other EFTA countries having to contribute more," the head of the EU office in Oslo Percy Westerlund said.

"But Bulgaria and Romania are remarkably poorer than the average of the ten countries that joined the EU two years ago. That will affect the calculations that are now being made in Brussels," Mr Westerlund added, according to Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

"They can count on it that the EU will in principle use the same logic and calculations as during the expansion from 15 to 25," EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn told Aftenposten.

Huge price for access to enlarged EU market

The three EFTA countries – Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – must pay ten times more, 230 million euro per year for access to the markets in the enlarged European Union. Norway will pay 97% of the money.

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following four-way talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April).

Latest News

  1. EU leaders condemn Iran, urge Israeli restraint
  2. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  3. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  4. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  5. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  6. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  7. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  8. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us