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Scares about reservation rights

The EEA Agreement gives Norway the right to reserve itself against EU laws that the EU wants to enter into the EEA. No government has taken that right. But Jonas Gahr Støre, our new foreign minister, has stated that the right of reservation is real.


Gahr Støre is safe political reason: The government platform of the red-green government states that the reservation right in the EEA agreement can be used «If particularly important Norwegian interests are threatened» of new EEA rules.

The current debate on the right of reservation is triggered by the Services Directive that the majority of the European trade union movement is now mobilizing against and by the chemicals directive REACH, which the chemical industry is working to weaken so much that it does not provide satisfactory protection against hazardous pollutants (Ny Tid 38 and 39).

Warnings on failing grounds

In "Politisk kvarter" on P2, Jan Tore Sanner (H) was out last Monday with two warnings against using the right of reservation against this chemicals directive. A Norwegian reservation would, firstly, affect Norwegian industry – and secondly, the EU could, as a countermeasure, increase tariffs on Norwegian fish.

Both are exceptionally misleading. But scares of this kind are used by EU supporters every time the question of the right of reservation in the EEA agreement is raised in the political debate. There is little factual basis for such scares.

Poses Norwegian and foreign producers equally

If it were to become important for Norway to reserve itself against the Chemicals Directive, it would be because it does not set strict enough requirements for the production and use of chemicals that can be dangerous to health and the environment – or for products that contain such environmental toxins.

There is currently a fierce battle between the European chemical industry on the one hand and environmental organizations and health authorities. . .

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