Solberg to Brussels

Norwegian PM meets with new EU leaders

Photo: Nina Aldin Thune / Wikimedia Commons Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Photo: Nina Aldin Thune / Wikimedia Commons
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Michael Sandelson
The Foreigner

Erna Solberg met three EU top dogs in Brussels on Jan. 21. She spoke with incumbent European Council President Donald Tusk, newly elected EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. Norway’s Minister of EU and EEA Affairs, Vidar Helgesen, is also present.

Terrorism, energy, the climate, Ukraine, Russia, foreign policy, and Norway-EU ties were some of the topics on the agenda.
Stating that she was “pleased for this opportunity to meet the new leaders of the EU institutions,” the Norwegian PM added that their meetings “have confirmed the strong and fruitful cooperation between Norway and the EU.”

Prime Minister Erna Solberg sees Norway’s EU Directive implementation speed as being excessively tardy, some 20 years after EU membership received a resounding “nei” for the second time.

“We also have to cease [with our] requirements for exemption, the EU Postal Directive being one example,” she told Dagens Næringsliv.

“The EEA Agreement is incredibly important in relation to the current situation in Norway, with the need for adaptation. It’s our anchor to the Inner Market. It contributes to equal market access for Norwegian businesses. That’s why it’s very important that we’re not the country that is constantly requesting exceptions and special arrangements when it comes to us having several legs to stand on now.”

“A less oil-dependent Norway will mean that we’re more dependent on the EU market. Oil and gas have been major commodities for the EU. Other goods and industries will compete on the market in a completely different way. This means that equal framework conditions and knowledge of the EU system becomes more important,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit

It also appeared in the Jan. 30, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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