Penny is about to fall! Norway retaliates against EU intervention by saying that the EU has given up far too much power.
NORWAY must retake energy regulating authority from the European Union as a first step toward renegotiating its wider ties with the EU, according to the leader of the eurosceptic opposition Centre Party, highlighting growing discontent with the bloc.
Centre, which is expected to win an election next month alongside other left-wing parties, ending eight years of Conservative control, wants to change the European Economic Area (EEA) accord, which has been the cornerstone of EU-Norway relations since 1994. “We believe we have given the EU too much control, particularly in the domain of energy, and that we should take that back,” said Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
With a vow to decentralize government activities and bring jobs and wealth to rural parts of Norway, the 42-year-old farmer is attempting to widen his party’s appeal beyond its agrarian base.
The Centre campaigned against Norway’s approval of the EU’s Third Energy Package in 2019, which liberalized markets by prohibiting suppliers from controlling pipelines and power networks and establishing the Agency for Energy Regulators Cooperation (ACER).
The party was concerned that the agency, which was established to promote national regulator collaboration, would force Norway to build more power lines to Europe, raising domestic electricity rates.
“This will be a significant debate, because low Norwegian electricity rates are a competitive advantage for our industries,” Mr Vedum, one of two opposition candidates vying to succeed Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, said.
Such fears are overblown, according to the government and the Labour Party, with which Mr Vedum must work to obtain power, and a campaign to renegotiate Norway’s EU pact may put in motion a process similar to Britain’s exit from the bloc.
Mr Vedum, on the other hand, dismissed such concerns.
“These are two very distinct things,” he explained. Norway is not putting an end to anything.
“We have agreements in place, and we want to see what we can do to improve them.”
The Centre Party, which has long opposed both membership and the EEA agreement, has modified its stance on the latter this year, proposing to seek changes rather than withdrawing entirely.
“Nothing will be jeopardized,” Mr Vedum stated.
“However, the agreements between Norway and the EU are constantly evolving, and it cannot be solely the EU’s responsibility.”Brinkwire Summary News”.