(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)
COMMENT by Tine Larsen
To save the wolf, Steinar Lem heads to the EU. This one consideration (which he has unshakable belief that the EU will solve, but never Norway) outweighs anything else about the EU that he still thinks is negative.
Norway must comply with international environmental obligations, and good environmental policy must be anchored through democratic decisions and popular participation. On the downside, we may disagree with environmental issues, such as predator management. But we believe environmental policy should be designed and decided in a democratic arena and the legitimacy of those concerned is ensured. Being governed by the bureaucrats in Brussels is unlikely to help increase environmental commitment.
Lem is concerned about species diversity and animal welfare. But he clearly does not have major concerns about putting Norwegian fisheries management under the EU's common fisheries policy. The EU has less sustainable fisheries management than Norway, and has fished large parts of the EU sea black. Lem thinks Norwegian farmers are a major environmental threat, but his alternative is the EU's common agricultural policy. An agriculture known for strong industrialization, monoculture, spread of infection and long-distance transport of live animals.
Lem is concerned that we should pursue a more solidarity policy. He has not lost all hope, and fortunately says that it is possible to do something also in a globalized and capitalist world. But in the disappointment that Norway has not done enough, he will deprive us of the opportunity to do more. In the EU, we will lose our own international voice, and the European Commission will speak on behalf of Norway in international negotiations. I would not trust the EU to change its course and embark on a foreign-friendly line. The foreign policy debate in Norway should be continued, so we can influence the Norwegian governments to use the independent voice more actively for the benefit of the environment and poor countries.
Neisiden has failed in Lem's eyes. The posterity has apparently made it clear to Lem that the neisiden in 1994 was engaged in pure propaganda, it was lied to uninhibited and also the neisiden was controlled by his own wallet, to use his own words from the interview in Ny Tid on 26 August. In that case, it was a negative side of which Lem himself was a part, together with large parts of the environmental and solidarity movement.
These claims border on the unreasonable, and hardly deserve an answer. Thousands of volunteers, both in No to the EU and other organizations, all those who participated in 1994 and the many who are active on the no side today, get their passports endorsed. Most people are probably more upset than offended. I have met hundreds of no-people who spend their free time keeping Norway out of the EU. I have not yet met anyone I suspect of lying uninhibited in favor of my own wallet. The Norwegian side is driven by volunteerism and a genuine commitment to many of the same values that Lem stands for. No to the EU has the environment, solidarity and democracy as the basis for our no.
Tine Larsen is deputy head of No to the EU