Macron wants to visit Norway

ParisFrench President Emmanuel Macron, right, welcomes Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg upon her arrival at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

France’s President Emmanuel Macron welcomes the invitation of Prime Minister Erna Solberg. He says he would like to visit Norway.

Solberg repeated her standing invitation to the president when she visited him at the Élysée Palace on Tuesday. Come to Norway and learn a little more about Norwegian society, she suggested.

“It would be a great pleasure to come to Norway. And not only to play handball or win winter sports, Macron answered when they met with the press together.

He also used the opportunity to congratulate Norway on the many Olympic medals in Pyeongchang.

Macron inspired by the Norwegian EU model

France’s president Emmanuel Macron does not believe Britain will get a similar close connection with the EU after Brexit as Norway has today.

Macron drew the Norwegian model as a source of inspiration.

The association through the EEA has made Norway an “extremely privileged partner” for the EU with a unique approach to the internal market, he maintained.

The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has drawn up red lines for themselves that make such a situation impossible.

“If Britain stand by its current negotiating position, the reality is that Britain will be far further away from the EU than Norway is today,” Macron said.

Hard to accept
The EU’s message has been that a similar access to the internal market like Norway has got, assumes that you also accept the four Freedoms and all the obligations that comes with them.

That just makes it difficult for the British to go for a Norwegian solution, Solberg points out.

“Everyone understands that it will be difficult for them to accept the four Freedoms after a referendum with such a large discussion about these,” she said at a joint press conference with Macron.

It is especially the free flow of labour across borders in the EU which has made the four Freedoms a bitter question in British politics.

Solberg agrees that a Norwegian model for the UK would have solved many problems.

“But as the situation is now, this is not where the UK is, she reveals to NTB.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today