Norway's relations with the EU and thus with Europe via the EEA agreement have become a growing theme in the election campaign. This is because the Center Party, with somewhat different support from the Red Party, the Socialist People's Party and the Green Party, is voting for the EEA agreement to be replaced by a trade agreement of unknown content and scope.
In the debate, it disappears how extensive Norway's cooperation with the EU is. The EEA agreement is both the umbrella over and the center of a comprehensive and growing institutional collaboration with the EU, which includes ever larger parts of society.
Salmon farming, aluminum, EU investments
But first a little about the EEA agreement and its significance. The core is that Norway in order to gain equal access to the EU's large market with about 440 million inhabitants has accepted the EU's pillars, which are the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers in the EU – and between Norway and the EU countries.
Norway has one of the world's most outgoing and open economies – almost 90 percent of our exports go to countries in Europe. Without comprehensive and growing trade with Europe and other countries, our welfare state will hardly be sustainable.
For business means EEA Agreement, with the support of the veterinary agreement with the EU, for example that salmon farmers on the island Lovund on Helgeland, or in Alta in Finnmark, send their salmon with trailers and rail without delaying intermediaries at customs stations in Europe directly to the major distribution markets in Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Warsaw, . . .
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