“The scenario of Norwegian [EU] membership is not going to happen over the next four years,” declared the country’s new foreign minister.
The agenda of the new left-wing government in Oslo does not include the country’s application for membership of the EU, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in an interview with Agence France-Presse. “It is clear that the government will not apply for membership” during its four-year term of office, he said.
The country’s new centre-left coalition government – the first majority cabinet in 20 years – ousted Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik’s centre-right government in the September 2005 elections. The new Red-Green coalition, under Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, took office on 17 October.
Recent opinion polls indicate that most Norwegians remain opposed to their country’s EU membership. The public has already defeated plans for EU accession in two referenda (in 1972 and again in 1994).