Norway withholds funds for Hungary

Norway and its two partners in the European Economic Area (EEA), Iceland and Liechtenstein, have been unable to agree with the Hungarian government on how their financial aid to Hungary’s civil society should be administered. They’re thus blocking access to all their potential funding, amounting to around NOK 2.3 billion for the period from 2014 […]

EU fires back over fishing off Svalbard

Norway and the EU remain caught in conflict over cod-fishing quotas off Svalbard. EU officials confirmed earlier this week that they think Norway is violating the Svalbard Treaty principles by cutting back on its quotas since Great Britain left the EU. Norway is also in the final rounds of free trade negotiations with Great Britain, […]

Norway blasts EU fishing off Svalbard

Norway launched an unusually strong protest against the EU on Tuesday, calling its decision to grant fishing rights in a protected zone off Svalbard “completely unacceptable.” Norway has long claimed sovereign rights to the seas and sea floor around Svalbard as an extention of its internationally accepted authority over the Arctic archipelago. “Norway is protesting […]

Employers’ group rings Brexit alarm

Norway’s national employers’ organization NHO is warning that Norwegian businesses need to prepare for chaos when post-Brexit transition pacts between the EU and the UK expire on December 31. Progress on firming up new agreements has been slow. News bureau NTB reported last week that Norway and the UK may not have their own free […]

Small party braves a new EU storm

Norway’s small Liberal Party (Venstre) has a new leader and a new agenda that has made it the country’s first to switch sides on the thorny issue of membership in the European Union (EU). The goal is to attract new voters, even though a majority of Norwegians still oppose EU membership. Guri Melby was confirmed […]

Telenor fined for exploiting its role

European regulators are punishing Norway’s state-controlled telecoms giant Telenor with a hefty fine of NOK 1.2 billion (USD 125 million) for misusing its market dominance to put pressure on the profit margins of other operators. Telenor promptly announced Tuesday that it would appeal. “We are very surprised over both the conclusion of ESA (the European […]

Solberg squashes new EU debate

Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s Conservative Party still wishes Norway would join the EU, but she’s not keen on launching a new debate on EU membership any time soon. That disappoints her own party’s youth group and, likely, one of her government coalition partners. Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that debate has already been flying […]

A new generation revives EU debate

NEWS ANALYSIS: Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of Norway’s second historic EU referendum, in which a modest but decisive majority turned down membership in the European Union once again. Now a new generation of voters seems keen to put EU membership back on the political agenda, and have a say themselves through a new referendum. […]

NAV scandal spoils prosecutor’s debut

Just as he took over his new high-ranking post as Norway’s state prosecutor, Jørn Sigurd Maurud had to declare a conflict of interest. He won’t be able to have anything to do with the legal aftermath of Norway’s biggest welfare and judicial scandal ever, since he lives with the Labour Party politician who was in […]

Government sorry for welfare scandal

Expectations were high when Norway’s government minister in charge of labour and social welfare strode to the podium in Parliament Tuesday morning. Anniken Hauglie responded by issuing an official apology to all those wrongly accused of swindling the welfare system, and she promised full compensation for their losses. Hauglie also promised a full external investigation […]