Friday , April 16 2021

Red-green fears government will undermine EEA deal



Tore Myhre, NHO’s international director, says Sp and SV are weakening the EEA agreement. – They create the impression that there are easy alternatives that create better market access, he says.

Both LO and NHO are calling for the EEA agreement and warning against SP and SV’s views in a new red-green government. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder

Since Norway joined the EEA in 1994, the Labor Party and the Conservative Party have had a majority in the Storting and have been the guarantors of the deal. This majority may decrease in the next period, or at least noticeably decrease.

On the red-green side, it is the EEA opponents who are getting stronger. This means that there may be a majority in a new red-green government against the EEA agreement.

It scares NHO:

– A very disturbing picture that Aftenposten portrays the progress of the nonpartisan and can have a decisive influence after the election. Tore Myhre, director of the NHO’s international department, says it was very unfortunate that they made the EEA an election campaign subject.

He believes it is “a populist and Norwegian protectionist type of trumpet that jeopardizes things.”

– Even if you don’t terminate the deal, he says, if you want to make a reservation and give the impression that there are alternatives, the deal may weaken.

NHO director Tore Myhre warned against “veto lefle” in the EEA agreement. Photo: Moment

Brexit causes bureaucracy and delays

– Does the NHO want voters to vote for the Labor Party or the Conservatives?

– The NHO does not make any recommendations about parties and elections. However, we are concerned with maintaining the EEA agreement. It is unfortunate that Sp and SV create the impression that they are easy alternatives that create better market access for companies.

He believes the British Brexit deal clearly shows how new border barriers exist and points to border control, bureaucracy, delays, increased costs for companies, lower revenues for the country and lower growth projections.

Norway cannot choose and reject what it wants to say yes and no as a member of the EU’s internal market. The EEA agreement is clear that in certain situations the consequence of self-separation may be that all parts of the agreement may be suspended.

Warns against “veto right lefle”

– Doesn’t the NHO exaggerate the danger when Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre says the EEA agreement will form the basis for a Støre government?

– We rely on Ap’s assurances that they will manage on the basis of the EEA agreement. However, no party is making progress and can gain a majority in a new government.

– While a new government will not terminate the deal immediately, we are very concerned about the erosion of the deal. If you have the veto power and start the processes of separating yourself for separate parts of the contract, you end up putting the entire contract in jeopardy, Myhre says.

LO secretary Are Tomasgard clearly says that “without the EEA agreement there will be no government on the left.”

– The biggest threat to the EEA agreement is that we do not use enough room to maneuver and do not affect processes before they reach the final stage. At the same time, there is no doubt that the agreement challenges us in some areas.

But sometimes we think politicians push the EEA agreement to explain everything that is painful and difficult. Usually it concerns national decisions. If you label the EEA agreement as the mother of all problems, the attitude towards the agreement will also be accordingly.

– I’ll warn against that. Tomasgard says the EEA agreement is very important to us.

Rotevatn: For or against climate cooperation?

Climate and Environment Minister Sveinung Rotevatn (V) asked the SP and SV to clarify whether they are for climate and environmental cooperation in Europe.

– 80 percent of environmental legislation in Norway comes from the EEA. Many are unaware of how important the EEA agreement is for the climate and environment in Norway. He says that if Norway pulls out of the EEA, the entire precondition for climate policy in Norway will change.

When Sp mentions that the UK has a good Brexit deal, it overlooks the information that the British withdrew from climate cooperation and are no longer part of quota cooperation.

– Sp leader Vedum says he wants to “improve” the EEA agreement?

– It’s not easy to understand what it means. They talked about the termination of the EEA agreement. In the Storting, they voted against the climate agreement, key climate directives and Acer. If they want a better deal, that should mean a less binding agreement. Not good for climate or Norwegian business.

– Red greens need to clarify: Will they be part of climate and environmental cooperation in Europe? The Minister asks.

The climate agreement means that Norway will cooperate with the EU on emissions cuts by 2030, with a target of at least 40 percent reduction. Norway is already part of the EU’s quota system for companies that set emissions ceilings. This ceiling will be lowered from year to year and will reduce total European emissions from industry, oil and gas production by 43 percent by 2030.


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