Stoltenbergs urged Nordic defense pact

Thorvald (left) and Jens Stoltenberg both backed stronger military ties among the Nordic countries. Now Jens leads NATO, and welcomes a "stronger and deeper" pact among the Nordic and Baltic nations. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

NEWS ANALYSIS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed a “strengthened cooperation” signaled by government ministers of the Nordic countries late last week, and that’s no surprise. His own father, veteran Norwegian diplomat Thorvald Stoltenberg, urged much tighter military cooperation with Norway’s neighbours as early as 2009, and the NATO boss doesn’t think the latest manifestation of that […]

Refugee children as political pawns

Justice Minister Anders Amundsen of the Progress Party (left) and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives were all smiles when announcing the so-called "asylbarn" solution this week. In reality, though, they had to give in to the more liberal asylum policies of their smaller support parties in Parliament, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. PHOTO: Justis- go beredskapsdepartementet

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s long-running drama about the fate of rejected refugees’ children reached a climax this week, when the government finally agreed to “be more liberal” in cases involving children who’ve spent most or all of their lives in the country. The agreement came only after the minority government coalition was faced with losing the votes […]

Huge challenge to meet climate goals

Carbon capture and emissions reduction at Statoil's Mongstad plant will be delayed ... (PHOTO: Øyvind Hagen/Statoi)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s government faces a huge challenge as it tries to juggle the interests of the country’s large oil and gas industry and the need to cut carbon emissions blamed for climate change. As Norwegians returned to work Tuesday after a long Easter holiday, they were likely to meet new vows from politicians who claim they won’t simply […]

Norway toughens residence rules

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservative Party and Justice Minister Anders Anundsen of the Progress Party want to lengthen the time it takes to secure permanent residence in Norway. PHOTO: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Norwegian government is about to make it much tougher for many foreign nationals to move to Norway and settle down in the country. Newspaper VG reported on Tuesday that a proposal sent out to hearing this week would extend the qualifying period for permanent residence permission to five years, nearly doubling the amount of time that effectively puts a newcomer […]

No winners after pilot strike ends

Bjørn Kjos, the embattled founder and chief executive of Norwegian Air, has won far more public  sympathy than the airline's striking pilots, according to a VG survey. After 11 "terrible" days, Kjos announced the strike was "finally" over. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/

NEWS ANALYSIS: Neither Norwegian Air nor its pilots could declare victory after an 11-day strike that stranded around 200,000 passengers, cost the company millions and left the pilots without the collective bargaining agreement they had sought. Passengers, meanwhile, continued to face flight cancellations and delays on Wednesday morning. Norwegian Air had warned before the settlement landed Tuesday […]

Government huddles for crisis meeting

Non-socialist parties celebrated winning a collective majority, but they ultimately couldn't agree on forming a government.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s conservative minority government seems to be teetering on the brink of collapse, given the ongoing discontent among the four parties behind it. Now all four party leaders reportedly plan to huddle next week for a not-so-secret “crisis meeting” in an effort to smooth badly ruffled feathers. At issue, first and foremost, is the […]

EU opposition still runs strong

PHOTO: Statsministerens kontor/Juha Roininen/EUP Images

NEWS ANALYSIS: Twenty years after Norwegians voted against joining the European Union (EU) for the second time, opposition to membership in the EU is much stronger than it was then. New public opinion polls show a solid majority saying they’d vote “no” again. In a new poll conducted by research firm InFact for newspaper VG, […]

Statoil rolls out huge new oil field

Norway's new Johan Sverdrup oil and gas field, located around 140 kilometers off Stavanger in the North Sea, represents a huge new source of wealth. Its environmental impact seems to be of secondary consideration. ILLUSTRATION: Statoil

NEWS ANALYSIS: The timing was ironic at best: Just as a new wave of climate concerns was literally washing over Norway this week, state oil company Statoil proudly promoted its huge new oil field Johan Sverdrup as the giant project heads for public hearing. Many argue that Norway’s oil and gas industry is a major contributor to […]

Russians visit as tensions rise

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende (left) met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last month. Bans on Norwegian salmon exports to Russia were on their agenda.  PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet/Kristin Enstad

NEWS ANALYSIS: While Sweden’s military continued to hunt this week for what many fear could be a Russian submarine in Swedish territorial waters, concerns are rising in Norway over military preparedness in the Arctic. Tensions are high on the eve of a meeting between Norway’s and Russia’s foreign ministers in Norway’s most northern county of Finnmark this […]

Støre fuels new oil uncertainty

Jonas Gahr Støre is off to a flying start as Labour's new leader, with the party now scoring its highest level of voter support in nearly 30 years. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet Arbeiderpartiet

NEWS ANALYSIS: New Labour Party boss Jonas Gahr Støre has suddenly emerged as the new ray of hope for the environmental movement and a threat to Norway’s oil and gas industry. Remarks he’s made in the past few weeks suggest that he wants to slow the pace of oil exploration and extraction. The Labour Party […]