Norway to relaunch debate on EU entry in 2007

Norway’s Prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik says that
Norwegians may be consulted again on country’s possible entry
into the EU.

Norway plans to launch, in 2007, a new debate on
a possible EU entry. However, “it is not an urgent matter’, said
Prime minister Bondevik. Recent polls show 45,8 percent
support for the membership. 43,8 percent of the Norwegians still
oppose it.

If there was a referendum, it would be Norway’s third one
on the matter. The country has already voted against
joining the EU, with a narrow majority, in 1972 and 1994. The
two major reasons are the huge North Sea oil revenues and country’s
major fishing industry.

Norway will hold legislative elections in September 2005, but
according to Bondevik the EU will not play a major role in the
electoral campaign, which should be more focused on “social
affairs”. 

As a member of the European Economic Area, Norway is already
involved in almost 80% of European legislation and is actually one
of the best countries in implementing the EU regulations.

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