Good dialogue, Europe minister Elisabeth Aspaker says of Norway’s difficult negotiations with the EU on agricultural trade.
We’ve got a good dialogue, and I strongly believe that we can reach a solution both parties can be satisfied with, Aspaker (H) says to the Norwegian press after attending her first meeting at the EEA Council in Brussels.
In February last year Norway and the EU begun negotiations on the new duty free quotas for agricultural products and greater liberalization of food trade. Another meeting was held in April, and now the EU countries are discussing the issue among themselves.
The EEA Council is the top meeting place for the representatives of the EEA countries, and in the conclusions Wednesday’s meeting refer to “progress in the negotiations on further liberalization of agricultural trade.” Aspaker does not reveal any details about this progress, but talks about a “new phase”.
– I do not want to outline or describe the demands that are on the table. I just note that the dialogue is good, that there is progress in the sense that the negotiations are ongoing, we have just had a meeting and very soon we will have a new meeting, she says.
– And I consider that to be a good sign.
Norway has previously talked about “major” EU demands. Farmers fear the result will be that you will get duty free quotas that are so extensive that they will ruin food production in Norway, and points out the the number of products being imported is alreade very large, while there are only a small number of products being exported.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today