PM Støre threatens to withhold EEA funds to countries that violate democratic principles

Jonas Gahr StørePhoto: Annika Byrde / NTB
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Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (AP) believes that Norway can no longer be obliged to pay EEA funds to countries that violate democratic principles.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Støre is set to meet a number of EU leaders in Brussels, including the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

In these meetings, Støre will convey that the rule of law principle that applies in the EU must also apply to Norway.

Earlier in February, the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU can cut transfers to member states that do not comply with democratic principles. The ruling provoked strong reactions in Poland and Hungary.

“I want to highlight that what the EU itself says about the rule of law and democracy – there must be criteria that apply to our schemes,” Støre told NTB.

EEA funds

Norway is currently in negotiations with the EU on EEA funds for the period up to 2027.

Both Hungary and Poland receive large financial transfers from the EU. Norway, for its part, contributes tens of billions of kroner in EEA funds that aim to reduce economic inequality in Europe.

This obligation can no longer bind Norway if the rule of law is undermined, Støre believes.

“We can not be obliged to pay EEA funds that should contribute to the development of society’s democratic principles (to places) where these democratic principles are violated,” he warned.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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