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Steinar Lem's deadline

- Remote control from Brussels is not what the environmental movement needs, says Åslaug Haga about Steinar Lem's new EU position


As Ny Tid wrote last week, the former leader of the Future in Our Hands (FIVH) has come to the conclusion that he now believes that Norway should join the EU. In his new book, Steinar Lem writes that he now prefers the EU's environmental policy over the Norwegian one. He believes that the EU is more progressive.

Lem admits that it is painful to disagree with the grassroots in FIVH, and that he does not thrive in the Yes camp.

Lemm's new position has not gone unnoticed in the political environment. The Center Party's Åslaug Haga believes that Steinar Lem is doing himself and the environmental movement a bear service on the grounds he has come up with.

- Steinar Lem signals that it is useless to influence through Norwegian democracy. He clearly has greater faith in gray bureaucrats in Brussels than green politicians in Norway. It is a death line for the environmental movement, says Åslaug Haga. She points out that with the proposal, Lem has overlooked basic features of the environmental movement and the No-resistance in Norway

- The whole foundation of the Norwegian environmental movement is influence through member-based organizations. Their power base is at the grassroots. This is where they have the members. This is where they have the opportunity to set the agenda through actions, demonstrations and ingenious stunts, says the Center Party's leader.

- The environmental movement is more than anyone else dependent on the decisions being made through open, democratic processes here in Norway – and not being pushed into the closed rooms in Brussels. Remote control from Brussels bureaucrats – tightly surrounded by lobbyists from European car factories and pharmaceutical companies – is not the way to go.

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