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Did Lem go to the league?


Steinar Lem's embrace of the EU's defense policy (in Ny Tid, among other things 26.8 and 16.9, editor's note) has obviously paralyzed the no-league, which responds with rhetorical reflexes in the columns here in Ny Tid. The provocation by a key figure in the radical environmental movement daring to swear in church and say yes to the EU on an environmental policy basis has led to a veritable onslaught against Lem. It does not help that his criticism is based on a recognition that it is time for new solutions to have a more environmentally friendly Norway. The no-side defends itself by saying that there has been no political majority for their solutions in this country. Why there should be a good argument against participating in an arena where such a political majority exists, is for me a mystery.

I guess that both Tine Larsen and Gullbjørg Røisli have had No to the EU's argumentation booklet in front of them when they wrote their posts. Røisli has hardly come to the conclusion that the EU allows radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to be blended into consumer goods by reading the relevant directive itself (EURATOM directive 96/29). Had she done so, she would have quickly understood that the directive – entitled "Establishing Basic Safety Standards for the Protection of the Health of Workers and Workers against the Dangers of Ionizing Radiation" – is, on the contrary, about how we can be protected from other radioactive waste.

Both Larsen and Røisli talk about «the gray bureaucrats in Brussels», and about how undemocratic the EU is. Had they taken the trouble to delve deeper into how the EU works, they would have seen that it is the elected representatives in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament who decide the environmental policy of the EU – and that the "gray bureaucrats" in the Commission are the ones who make sure member states are tightening up their environmental policy.

Steinar Lem has though that in a world where information, money and human conditions cross borders more than ever before, politics must take place at all possible levels – the near, the national and the superior international. A good environmental policy is to create and follow up progressive international rules, to coordinate a national environmental policy that prevents local special interests from overriding the community and to take hold of our own local community to take the small steps that mean so much. Steinar Lem should be honored for daring to speak out in a debate that has stalled.

Christer Gulbrandsen holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Oslo, and is a member of SV.

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