NORWAY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

‘Alternative lifestyles’, in Britain and Europe Special Report, The Economist 17th Oct 2015, p.13-14

Norway has full access to the EU single market for goods and services without having to participate in the CAP or the common fisheries policy. But in return it must abide by all the EU’s single-market rules without having any say in drawing them up. It is also, as a member of the Schengen area, obliged to accept free movement of people from the EU. And even though it is not a member of the club, it has to make so-called solidarity payments into the EU budget which, in net terms per person, add up to roughly 90% of Britain’s own contribution. Many Norwegians are unhappy with this. A few years ago the government invited a group of academics under the chairmanship of Fredrik Sejersted (now the country’s attorney-general) to examine Norway’s relationship with the EU. Mr Sejersted and his colleagues reported that it raised serious democratic concerns because Norway was forced to implement laws that it had no say in making. One way to put this right would be to join the EU, but Norway has twice rejected that option.