Norway elections: Norway could be on collision course with the EU over EEA membership (Image: GETTY )Norwegians will head to the polls on September
Norway elections: Norway could be on collision course with the EU over EEA membership
Norwegians will head to the polls on September 9 to vote in their next government, with polls showing a growing popularity for three anti-EU parties. The right-wing populist Progress Party, Centre Party, and the left-wing Socialist Left Party are expected to make gains at the polls, which could mean they could be influential in forming the next government.
The shock prediction could see Norway on collision course with the EU if any of the three parties, who are calling for Norway to leave the European Economic Area (EEA), forms a coalition with the leading centre-left Labour Party.
Although Norway is not a member of the EU, it is part of the EEA.
As a member of the EEA, Norway has access to the single market so has to abide by EU laws and regulations when it comes to trade.
A recent poll found the anti-EU Centre Party is polling at about 10 percent – double what it took home in the last election.
Norway elections: The Progress Party is set to make gains
The eurosceptic party is calling for Norway to ditch the EEA and replace it with a trade deal.
Meanwhile, the Progress Party is polling at about 15 percent.
The party is against joining the Brussels bloc and has called for changes to the EEA, which would make it easier for Norway to get rid of citizens from other countries.
While, the Socialist Left Party, another potential coalition party for leading Labour, is also looking to renegotiate the terms of the EEA.
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The party is polling at about 6 percent – an increase on the previous 4 percent it took home in the last election.
However, polls suggest the nation’s centre-left Labour Party could be taken over by the Conservative Party, which is led by current Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Both are down on the previous 2013 elections, with Labour polling at 27 percent and the Conservatives at 24 percent.
Ms Solberg, leader of Norway’s Conservative Party, has clearly stated she wants the country to become a member of the EU.
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She has previously said she also wants to replace the Norwegian Krone (NOK) with the Euro.
Before the UK referendum last year, Mrs Solberg warned the UK not to vote to leave, telling voters “you will hate it”.
Being a member of the EEA means Norway has to stick to the free movement of labour – a key EU rule.
However, businesses say this has only benefitted them as, with a population of just five million, they would not have enough workers otherwise.
Norway uses its own currency the Norway Krone
Unlike Britain, Norway is part of the passport-free Schengen zone, but has extended border checks, unlike other countries signed up to the deal.
The Scandinavian country has rejected calls to join the bloc twice, in 1972 and 1993, and has gone on to become the sixth richest country in the world per capita.
The average salary in Norway is £4,000 a month, nearly double the British average.
Norway elections: Eurosceptic parties want to take Norway out of the EEA
Meanwhile, a 2017 poll found a majority of Norwegian politicians in parliament will be against European Union membership following the elections.
The survey conducted by organisation No to the EU found 43.2 per cent of representatives will be against Norway joining the bloc, while only 22.5 per cent will be for.
Of those polled, 259 were against EU membership and just 70 were union supporters.
In comparison, a similar poll from 2013 found that nearly half (46.7 per cent) of the parliament wanted the country to become a EU member state.