Ernas speaking points i Brussel
Tirsdag morgen kl. 9 møter statsminister Erna Solberg Presidenten i Europakommisjonen, José Manuel Barroso. Her er talepunkter hun kan bruke:
Good morning Mr Barroso, and thank you for taking the time to see us today. It is a great pleasure for me to be in Brussels and to have the opportunity to discuss Europe′s future challenges with you. Since we met last time at the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, we have, as you know, held parliamentary elections in September. I am proud to represent Norway′s new government consisting of the two conservative parties "Høyre" and "Fremskrittspartiet."
We want Norway to play an active part in advancing European integration.
Our commitment to cooperating closely with the EU is manifested by the appointment of a first-ever Norwegian Minister of European Affairs, Mr Vidar Helgesen, who I am pleased to introduce to you. Our government declaration states that Norway′s foreign policy starts in Europe. I might add that the same is true for our domestic policies, as we are so closely linked and indeed dependent on our intimate ties with Europe.
There are three main topics I would like to focus on today: Europe′s energy transition, Norway′s contribution to economic and social equality, and the EEA agreement.
1. Facilitating Europe′s energy transition
- Although not a full member of the EU, Norway remains fully committed to participate in Europe′s efforts to create stronger economic growth to ensure a prosperous and dynamic Europe. Energy is one key element of this, as you yourself have so often emphasised. EU′s commitment to realising Europe′s energy transition towards clean, affordable and reliable energy source, is indeed in our common interest.
- Moving from a fossil dominated economy to an energy chain based predominately on renewable energy is not easy. But it is clearly the only way for Europe to become energy independent, competitive and and combatting global warming. Setting the right policy goals for 2030 and 2050 are crucial. Let me assure you that Norway will contribute to reaching your goals, both in our current capacity of delivering natural gas in a reliable manner and in the future as a major provider of renewable energy.
- I am therefore pleased to announce that I have asked my government to speed up the transposition of the EUs third energy package as it will strengthen the link between Norwegian suppliers of gas and electricity and the Single Market, while ensuring a fair and competitive market for European consumers.
2. Norway′s contribution to economic and social equality: New and permanent commitment
- EU′s efforts to help other countries anchoring to a free, peaceful and open society was duly recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Your continued efforts to lift depressed regions out of poverty is impressive and something my government is firmly committed to contribute to. We fully support your ongoing dialogue with Ukraine and the Western Balkans.
- Since the beginning of the EEA, we have negotiated a financial contribution from the EFTA States and Norway every five years. I am pleased to announce to you that Norway has decided to make our financial contribution a permanent part of the EEA Agreement.
- We do this not because we are legally bound, but because we believe in European integration and cooperation as a means of strengthening solidary between European citizens and nations.
3. Bolstering the EEA Agreement: Revival of policy dialogue
- Until Norway can join the EU as full member we base our relationship on the EEA at the heart of a variety of other sector specific Agreements. I can assure you that my party is firmly committed to Norwegian membership of the EU, but this is a thorny issue for Norwegian society, and time is not ripe to launch that debate.
- It is therefore of vital importance that the EEA is well preserved. My government will considerable step up our involvement in early development of EU acquis, as provided for in the Agreement. We will also speed up the integration of outstanding acquis. But right now, there are a series of directives that are challenging for us. While I am pleased to state they are clearly a part of the EEA Agreement, such as the Bank Deposit Guarantee, Marine Strategy and Offshore Safety Directives, we need to find a way to ensure that our national interests are not negatively affected.
- Article 89 and 92 of the EEA is meant to facilitate dialogue on issues of common concern, but has not been exploited to its full potential. I would therefore suggest that we revive this framework for dialogue with a view to finding mutually acceptable ways of safeguarding our interests.
I look forward to hearing your views and continuing our constructive dialogue.