A new public opinion poll shows that 67 percent of Norwegians would still vote “no” to membership in the European Union (EU) if a referendum were held today. The strong majority has remained stable at nearly 70 percent for several years.
The poll, conducted by research firm Sentio for newspapers Nationen and Klassekampen, also showed that only 22 percent favour joining the EU while 11 percent were uncertain.
Norway nonetheless cooperates closely with the EU and considers itself part of Europe through its EEA/EØS trade agreemen. It gives Norway full access to the EU’s inner market in exchange for hundreds of millions of kroner in financial support and adherence to most EU directives. Norway lobbies hard to try to influence EU regulations and directives, but ultimately has no vote as a non-member.
Norwegian business and labour were relieved last week when Prime Minister Erna Solberg won assurances from EU leaders in Brussels that Norway will be exempted from punitive retaliatory import fees imposed after US Donald Trump launched a trade war with China and several of the US’ own allies including Canada, Mexico and the EU.