World Facts

Is Norway in the European Union?

Although geographically part of Europe, Norway is not an EU member. The country held two referenda on joining the European Union but declined each time. 

Norway is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It has a population of just over 5 million people and its capital is OsloAlthough geographically part of Europe, Norway is not an EU member. The country held two referenda on joining the European Union, once in 1972 and once in 1994, but declined each time. 

The European Union, often shortened to the 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 in reference to Norway’s membership. The result of the vote was 53.5% against membership and 46.5% for it. Another referendum was carried out in 1994, and yielded almost the same results with 52% against and 47.8% for.

Why Has Norway Never Joined the EU?

As Norway is endowed with natural resources such as oil, fish, and hydroelectric power, it could be within the country's best interests to retain sovereign control over these resources. Perhaps because of this, Norway has grown to become the world’s fifth richest county per capita. In addition, Norway may be skeptical that, by joining the European Union, they would be relinquishing some control over their democracy, which is one of the strongest in the world. 

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