Steinar Lem has recently published the book "The Little Life". The book has attracted attention, not least because the formerly active no-man and nature conservationist now admits that he has turned, albeit "with a heavy heart", but still. I would like to comment on his reasons for going from no to yes in the EU case.
The ideals of: 1) solidarity, 2) government and 3) environmental concerns, I share with Lem. But how he has come to the conclusion that these ideals are better safeguarded in the EU than in our own country, that is a mystery to me!
First, point 1, solidarity. I do not know what Lem means by solidarity, but as I see it, Norway has for a long time and under changing governments, provided far higher aid to poor countries than the EU has allocated, in terms of population and GDP. The same goes for our financial support to the new Eastern European EU countries. This is what I call solidarity. Here, the Center Party has long been a driving force in the work for greater assistance to poor countries and today it is the party in the Storting that has the largest number of aid ratios. Personally, I think we should share significantly more than today of our incredible wealth with poor countries.
Then to point 2), people's government. I fully agree with the fact that the national government in our country has been poorly respected since the last EU vote. But Lem's reason for this: "that no-side has failed", I completely disagree. The way I see it is the main reason for a failing national government in Norway, first and foremost are the many EU directives that have been “stepped over our heads” all these years and which are the overriding Constitution. The veto right in the EEA Agreement has not been used, which is primarily due to a majority of EEA supporters in the Storting. And, as you know, a minority cannot bind a majority. In other words: The Storting majority does not represent the majority of the people who said no to the EU in 1994. Does Lem think that an EU membership will give us better national government? Is it better to be governed by Brussels than by elected politicians in our own country? It's hard to imagine that's what Lem wants. Especially when you know that the EU has had a huge deficit of democracy every year, which is reinforced by the new EU constitution and which is the main reason why France and the Netherlands voted No in the respective countries' referendums this summer.
Then we come to point 3), consideration for the environment. As I see it, a greedy, market liberal institution like the EU is not particularly well placed to take care of the environment. It is well known that the consideration of "maximum profit" in the EU is superior to the consideration of human health and the environment. The demand for "free movement of goods and services" is enough to understand this. In addition, we know that the EUR atomic directive (EURATOM directive 96/29 / of 13 / 5-96), allows radioactive waste from nuclear power plants mixed into all kinds of consumer goods, except food, toys and cosmetics. Despite the great health risk of such a practice, it is allowed. Why: Yes, it is "profitable" to store nuclear waste in a safe way!
That the EU is concerned with species diversity and species protection is good. In our country, we are witnessing major differences of opinion in the debate on the conservation of the wolf population. Many disagree with the decisions that have been made. But you can not remove democracy because you do not like democratically made decisions!
Gullbjørg Røisli is a board member of Akershus No to the EU