Great British interest in Norway

The prime minister is constantly looking in the British media at the moment.The prime minister is constantly looking in the British media at the moment..Photo Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

They are very interested in Norway, Erna Solberg says. The prime minister is constantly appearing in the British media at the moment.
On a visit to Brussels Wednesday Solberg (H) once again gives several interviews to the British press. She has scheduled interwiews with both BBC and The Times is on schedule, and they are most interested in what she has to say about Norway’s relations with the EU .
– The interest has intensified quite a bit righ now,  Solberg says.
– Norway will probably be more interesting when it can be put into the context of a British discussion, she asserts with reference to Britain’s referendum on EU membership in June.
The message
While the British EU opponents have shown interest in  Norway’s EEA model, the EU advocates are using it as horror story.
The message from the Norwegian prime minister is that there are difficulties in being on the outside of EU when you still have to  follow the rules of the EU market.
–  The EEA Agreement is a very good deal for providing full market access in the areas we wanted, says Solberg said.
– But there are laws we have had to accept without any way for us to directy influence them. Because of our connection through the EEA agreement, Norway has always had this democratic deficit.
That’s why Norway has to act as a kind of lobbying organization in Brussels, the Prime Minister said, when she explains Norway’s possibilities to influence.
– I’m not saying that we have no influence. But I say we must act as a lobbying organization,  Solberg says about the message she gives to UK newspapers and broadcasting.
– We have mechanisms to influence, but we are not down there making the decisions.
A complicated EU structure contributes to the difficulties of gaining acceptance as outside countries. Bills from the European Commission are adopted both by member states and the European Parliament.
– Especially after Parliament received more power, it’s probably become more complicated for us and a little harder. When we think we’ve got an understanding of our stance in the Commission, we migh suddenly see a little less understanding  from  the Parliament for example, says Solberg.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today