Norway, whose capital city is Oslo, is a Scandinavian country in Europe. Norway stands on an area of 385,252 square kilometers and has a population of 5,353,363 people according to a study carried out in 2018. The European Union, shortened to EU, is a political and economic organization. It consists of 28 member nations that are located in Europe. It covers an estimate of 4,475,757 km squared and consists of a population of over 510 million people. Its headquarters are located in the city of Brussels in Belgium. The member states use the Euro as the common currency. EU has provided more foreign aid than any other economic union in the world.
Purpose of the EU
The organization was created to serve different purposes such as eliminating border controls between members that allow free flow of goods and people which is meant to promote trade. The union also transmits technologies to its member countries and also provides public contracts to bidders from any member country. It has also done away with tariffs in that, products manufactured in one country are freely sold to the others without tariffs or duties. Some of the professional practitioners can freely operate in all the member countries. The sole purpose of EU is to improve competitive advantage in the global market.
Norway’s Bid to Join the European Union
Norway has attempted to join the European Union twice, 1962 being their first attempt. However, they opted to decline following two referenda held in 1972 and 1994. In 1967, the countries that had applied for membership were suspended due to strong economic ties. In 1972, a popular referendum was held to Norway’s membership. Unfortunately, they were voted 53.5% against membership and only 46.5% for it. Another referendum was carried out in 1994, and yielded almost the same results with 52% against and 47.8% for. More astonishing is that Norway voted no in 1972 and 1994.
Why Has Norway Never Joined the EU?
Norway is endowed with natural resources such as oil, fish, and hydroelectric power, so they are afraid of losing the sovereign control over these resources. Norway values their natural resources and is often their priority to have monetary policies that conflict with those of EU’s core nations. This is because many of the countries rely on industrial productions. In Norway, the periphery still holds significant political power because it hasn’t been monopolized. Norwegians see EU as a centralizing project focusing on urban centers and neglecting rural areas. EU member practitioners can work in different countries within the region. It has been noted that Norway has a compressed wage structure, a move that has been challenged by other countries.
With time Norway’s membership can be resumed if they renew their domestic political will; hence their membership has just been frozen not withdrawn. However, Norway has no plans of filing another application asking to join EU.
Advantages and Disadvantages Norway Gets From Being Outside the EU
Norway has grown to become the world’s fifth richest county per capita. Being in EU has not prevented it from growing to become one of the world leaders. This is because very wealthy countries have to share their wealth with developing countries to prevent them from being too powerful. EU has power over the government of its member countries which means they can remove a political leader if they don’t like them. Not being part of EU has left them short of workers because of the small population. Norway has been forced to accept the privatization of their natural resources.