Professionals also now against EU

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Now even a majority of professionals who are members of the large labour organization Akademikerne are opposed to membership in the European Union (EU). While Norwegians have twice turned down membership in the EU, members of Akademikerne have consistently been in favour, until now.

Support is limp for the EU in Norway right now. PHOTO: EU Commission

The roughly 155,000 members of Akademikerne consist of educators, doctors, lawyers and other professionals, and a new survey reported by newspaper Aftenposten this week shows that only 39 percent of them now support EU membership. That compares to well over 50 percent in 2009 and over 60 percent in 2003.

The survey also showed that for the first time, the number of those saying “no” to the EU (44 percent) was higher than those still saying “yes.” The remainder (17 percent) were either undecided or said they wouldn’t vote in a new EU referendum.

The survey was conducted for Akademikerne by research firm Respons Analyse between May 26 and June 14.

Support for the EU in Norway has fallen to record low levels in recent months. The drop has been tied to the debt crises among several EU members and problems with the euro, as well as controversy around recent unpopular EU directives on data storage and postal services.

“The positive sides of the EU and operations of the entire European cooperation are being overshadowed by reports tat it can break down,” Knut Aarbakke, leader of Akademikerne, told Aftenposten. He maintains that a change in opinion can come quickly, though, and that there’s more need than ever for groups like pro-EU Europabevegelse to present a “more balanced” picture of the EU.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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