The focus of this presentation is Norway's relationship to the EU – and particularly the EEA - over the last 5 years. It is not meant to be a detailed evaluation of effects stemming from Norway's special relationship to the EU. Rather, it will focus on some key elements and examples, to characterise the Norwegian situation within a Nordic context. I will focus on five major points.
- Degrees and forms of EU membership, conceiving of Finland and Norway as contrasting cases
- The formal framework: Norway as an activist for new institutional arrangements yet cautious about their national implications
- Preserving sovereignty and democratic process within the EEA framework is difficult, but are politicians really trying?
- EEA has widespread economic AND political implications: Consequences increase over time
- EEA is vulnerable in the long run
It is argued in the paper that the conception of Norwegian EU attitude as a 'functional necessity' is fallible in not taking into account the potential of political change; Finland serves as example in this respect.