Link to the University of Pittsburgh
Link to the University Library SystemContact us link
AEI Banner

"Norway and the European Community: On the Outside Moving In?"

Nelsen, Brent F. (1991) "Norway and the European Community: On the Outside Moving In?". In: UNSPECIFIED, Fairfax, Virginia. (Unpublished)

Download (1057Kb) | Preview


    After nearly two decades of silence, Norway has reopened debate over joining the EC. In 1972 the electorate rejected membership in a referendum after a divisive campaign. The wounds opened by the campaign were so deep that Norwegian elites refused to discuss publicly the possibilities for membership in the EC for over fifteen years. Three events in the late 1980s have forced Norway to reopen the debate. The passage of the Single European Act encouraged a revitalization of the EC that EFTA countries could not ignore. The EC and EFTA began negotiations to establish a European Economic Area. The second event was the fall in oil prices in 1986 that reminded Norway of its economic vulnerability. Finally, the ending of the Cold War made it possible for Sweden to apply for membership. The Swedish application has added urgency to the debate in Norway. The current debate is almost identical to the one in 1972. The supporters of membership come mainly from the urban business community. They are led by the Conservative party, a large portion of the Labor party, and the Progress party. The supporters are not well organized and the political parties do not work together. The opposition is made up of farmers, leftist intellectuals, and unions loyal to the Labor party. A large grassroots organization, Nei til EF, leads the opposition. Public opinion in Norway is split three ways between EC supporters, opponents, and the undecided. The conflict in Norway is really between two competing visions of the country. Opponents see Norway as a shining example of how an industrialized democracy should be governed. Norway would lose its distinctiveness if it joined the EC. Supporters of membership believe Norway is too small to remain isolated. It must defend its vital interests by being part of the European unification process. The outcome of this debate is still in doubt.

    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII (Chicago style) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:
    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-EFTA/EEA
    EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    Countries > Norway
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1991 (2nd), May 22-24, 1991
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 26 May 2007
    Page Range: p. 27
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:46

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads