‘Norway First’ in ‘new’ EU strategy

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s foreign ministry chose “Europe Day” this past week to launch the Norwegian government’s new strategy for cooperation with the European Union (EU). It contains many of the same goals and lofty promises for good relations as before, but Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide also revealed that it’s aimed at putting Norway first, […]

ESA sues Norway for discrimination

European competition authorities are taking Norway to court for alleged discrimination against fathers. The ESA (EFTA Surveillance Authority) doesn’t think they get a fair share of Norway’s relatively generous paid parental leave, with mothers having more rights to the money. The issue has been simmering for years, with newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reporting paradoxical flaws […]

EU energy union gathers steam

A final vote won’t be taken until Thursday, but all indications are that a hotly contested government proposal for Norway to join a new EU energy union will win support from a large majority in Parliament. The political support that emerged this week, however, is at odds with public sentiment after a recent opinion poll […]

Sparks fly over the EU energy union

Debate over whether Norway should join the EU’s new energy union, and thus subject itself to EU market regulation, was reaching fever pitch this week. The issue has divided not only the Parliament but also the already-weakened Labour Party, as fears rise over the potential for much higher electricity rates that would hurt not only […]

EU post sacrificed in favor of foreign aid

Of all the changes resulting from her goverment reshuffle, Prime Minister Erna Solberg was getting perhaps the most kudos for her decision to replace a ministerial post responsible for EU issues with one aimed at monitoring foreign aid. It’s forcing a major reorganization within Norway’s foreign ministry, but commentators on both the left and the […]

Norway grants more funds to Poland

Norway’s new government minister in charge of relations with the EU traveled to Warsaw on Wednesday, to formally hand over more development funds. Marit Berger Røsland’s visit took place on the very day, though, that the EU threatened to take away Poland’s voting rights because of its conservative government’s controversial reforms. The EU Commission proposed, […]

No congratulations after British vote

Børge Brende, Norway’s foreign minister from its own Conservative Party, didn’t feel he could immediately congratulate either side after Thursday’s dramatic election that toppled Britain’s Conservatives. The shocking results of the election also throw the Brexit process into more uncertainty, right after Norway was promised special treatment as an observer of the process with high stakes […]

Poll shows unrest over EU trade deal

Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of Norway’s trade deal with the European Union (EU), called the EØS avtalen, but there was no big celebration. Instead, a new poll shows that nearly half the Norwegian population wants to put the deal up for a vote, and possibly alter or scrap it. Newspaper Dagsavisen reported on Tuesday that […]

Labour downplays EU membership

Norway’s Labour Party, which has long favoured membership in the European Union (EU), has struck a more neutral tone in its new party program rolled out this week. Labour’s leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, claims it’s only a sign of adapting to the times. The party, though, has been reaching out to centrist parties in the hopes of forming […]

EU’s negotiator vows to defend EEA deal

Norwegian leaders seemed relieved after an all-day visit on Wednesday from Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator for a new trade deal with Great Britain after it leaves the EU. The Brexit talks will have a major impact on Norway, which will need to negotiate a new trade deal of its own with Britain as it winds up […]