A new survey indicates that fully 64 percent of Norwegians support the country’s so-called EØS deal that regulates trade and shared policy with the European Union. The survey results have been called “a cold shower” for the two political parties that want to dump the agreement, the protectionist Center Party and the Socialist Left (SV).
They’re now accused of being out of touch with their own voters. An overwhelming 71 percent of SV’s voters support the agreement, while only 16 percent oppose it. Among Center Party voters, 49 percent favour the EØS agreement, 39 percent oppose it and 13 percent were unsure. It all means that neither SV nor the Center Party should campaign to do away with the agreement that most Norwegians feel has served Norway well for many years.
The survey, conducted by research firm Sentio for newspapers Klassekampen and Nationen, seems to confirm that the EØS (European Economic Cooperation) deal is Norway’s best alternative to full membership in the EU. The biggest problem with it is that Norway, as a non-member, lacks influence over the EU measures it’s expected to abide by, although some politicians think Norway can be better at trying to exert more influence or reserving itself against implementing some.
There have been signs of interest in launching a new referendum on EU membership, which was last declined in 1994. A new generation of voters wants a say but in the meantime, the current EØS deal remains firm.