Norway praised by EFTA Surveillance Authority / News / The Foreigner

Norway praised by EFTA Surveillance Authority. Country top of the class to incorporate EU directives. The main conclusions from the 24th EEA EFTA Internal Market Scoreboard report mentions Norway extremely positively. There are time limits upon how long the EU permits each country to transpose (i.e. adopt) its new directives. “Norway was able to reduce their transposition deficit from 1.1 percent to and excellent 0.4 percent.”

efta, eea, eu, surveillance, authority, report, internal, market, scoreboard, norway, directives



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Norway praised by EFTA Surveillance Authority

Published on Sunday, 16th August, 2009 at 22:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Country top of the class to incorporate EU directives.

Thumb up with EU flag
Thumb up with EU flag
Photo: Swissmacky/Shutterstock Images


The main conclusions from the 24th EEA EFTA Internal Market Scoreboard report mentions Norway extremely positively. There are time limits upon how long the EU permits each country to transpose (i.e. adopt) its new directives.

“Norway was able to reduce their transposition deficit from 1.1 percent to and excellent 0.4 percent.”

This means that the average delay between the EU passing the directive and its implementation under Norwegian law is five months.

According to Aftenposten, this new record has been set during the present government’s term of office, something which leaves Heming Olaussen, leader of the “No to the EU” movement (“Nei til EU”), slightly perplexed.

“What is the use of being against the EU and at the same time being top of the EU class?”

Yes or no?

The question as to whether or not Norway should become a member of the EU has been going since the beginning of the 1960s. Although the country has little or no influence on EU decisions, it still adopts an increasing number of their directives. This has not gone unnoticed.

A brief history

The Norwegian parliament has twice voted in favour of starting membership negotiations by an overwhelming majority, once in 1962, and again in 1970. The people of Norway voted against becoming members in 1972.

In 1989, ministers from the six countries that were members of the EFTA agreement – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Austria, and Switzerland – met in Oslo and reached an agreement that would give “the highest possible potential for free movement of goods, services, capital and people” (Oslo declaration of 15 March, 1989).

In a resumé of the fight against EU membership in Norway from 1962 to 2006 written by Dag Seierstad – a politician in the Socialist Left Party (SV) – he writes that this agreement “was a political coup. There had been no public debate about committing Norway in such a way. The declaration’s contents had not been approved by parliament either.”

The negotiations lasted until April 1990, and were based on the six countries “accepting the entire legislation and judicial decisions that ensure the EU’s free movement of goods, services, capital, and flow of labour.” The results were submitted almost two years later, with Norway becoming part of the EU’s inner market.

In 1992, Gro Harlem Bruntland’s Labour government (Ap) sent another application to become part of the EU, with negotiations being completed 1994. Later on that year, the people of Norway voted against EU membership once again.

Since then, Finland, Sweden, and Austria have become EU members with Switzerland, though still being members of EFTA, having its own bilateral agreement.  Iceland applied to join the EU last month. Should this application succeed, the EEA agreement will consist just of Lichtenstein and Norway.

Yes, sir

Paal Frisvold, leader of the Norwegian European Movement (Europabevegelsen), thinks Norway’s eagerness to implement EU directives is an anomaly.

“It’s a tragic paradox that we are so against new EU directives in Norway, whilst at the same time clicking our heels together and stand to attention when the EU has decided something,” he tells the paper.

Ringing the changes

But rather than focusing on points and paradoxes, it could be what Kjetil Wiedswang, a commentator in Dagens Næringsliv, wrote in today’s paper will be more to the point.

“In the course of the next four years, the EU will probably introduce its new model of government agreed in the Treaty of Lisbon....we will see a new study of the EEA. After 15 years, (the Norwegian) parliament wishes to have an evaluation of our organisational relationship to Europe.”

And in the run-up to next month’s election, he thinks that the voters should get to know how their politicians intend to relate to the new European reality.




Published on Sunday, 16th August, 2009 at 22:27 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: efta, eea, eu, surveillance, authority, report, internal, market, scoreboard, norway, directives.





  
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