Norway: Insider AND Outsider

This paper gives a critical account of the Norwegian appraoch to European integration five years in the wake of the EU referendum.

ARENA Working Paper 04/2000 (html)

Svein S. Andersen

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.

Tags: identity, Norway, EEA-agreement, supranationalism
Published Nov. 9, 2010 10:52 AM