Following the post by Richard North, EUReferendum, on the subject of Norway possibly being the recipient of EU fines for non-implementation of 400 Directives comes further news that Norway is a tad unhappy about her relationship with the EU and that Stoltenberg’s coalition partners, often critical of both the EU and the EEA pact, had sparked speculation about a possible re-negotiation.
Norway’s anti-EU Center Party (Senterpartiet, SP) is firmly opposed both to EU-membership and the current EEA-agreement. Center Party leader Liv Signe Navarsete commented in December that she envisaged three alternatives; “Join the EU, change the EEA-agreeement or leave the EEA. The first is not an option.” This week, Navarsete had to concede that the latter two were not actual options either, allegedly after pressure from the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the government coalition’s third partner, the Socialist Left party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti, SV), has not directly called for re-negotiation but also has made critical comments about the EEA pact that sparked speculation. It clarified its stand this week as well, by stating that “we wish to rule on the same foreign policy platform we have today where we are a member of the EEA, not the EU.”
It will be noted that neither has Henning Olaussen, head of the major anti-EU organization in Norway, “No to the EU” (Nei til EU) been backward in coming forward in order to “stir the pot”.
Stoltenberg and Cameron met last year – no doubt, among other matters, to compare notes on the delights of coalition government.
Afterthought: As with the Swiss/EU “spat” over the use of bi-lateral agreements, so too is the Norway/EU “spat” starting to bubble nicely. Now, were did we all put our cauldrons and witches uniforms?