Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stacked Deck: The Unique Place Norway Occupies With EU

Erna Solberg, Norwegian Prime Minister, meets with EU Council President Daniel Tusk to finalize emmision standards agreements scheduled to come into effect in 2030. The story broke with the clever headline, "Norway to Join EU By 2030!". Only thing is, this angered some Norwegians.

Are two parties really friends with an elementary lack of affection?

Norway is not a member state of EU, and occupies a kind of best of both worlds position as neighbor as well as trade partner: but EU membership never made it beyond the discussion phase. Besides being a subject non grata in Parliament, it holds sway as 72% of Norwegians do not wish to join, rendering Norway's presence in EU as a ideological gun-for-hire, equally lending itself to being an example and internationally confirming EU as a beneficial international organization, or not, depending upon the subject. Despite participation in similar treaties which have erroneously contributed to the picture of a sixty year EU, Norway's position has been increasingly Eurosceptic, in Norwegian terms.

The merchants of Norway trade in both Krones and Euros, though the Norweigan role in Free Movement does not mandate the privilege as one that migrations of refugees flock to, from, nor within. There is no giant socialist apparatus for these people as there is in Sweden, for example. Thus, no wheeling, dealing, privatizing, and nationalizing of any given institution, nor the budgetary loopholes such financial gymnastics can pioneer as to fund the immigration policy, as well as the immigrants, themselves.

The Residence of Euroscepticism lost...
Traditionally Euroscepticism lives expressly on the far left and far right in EU member-states, with individual seats in center left and right parties possessing any degree of it from ardently pro or con, to willingness to hear either side. But, in the nation of Norway, all we can conclude is that it is different...

Euroscepticism is not quite the regime-centric component of any party's platform, generally. And due to the necessary coalitions forming between the three of nine major parties favoring EU, as well as any of the five refusing to even discuss it, (and the ninth, the Green Party in Norway virtually holding a clandestine check to throw either way) it is not only defiant to that series of micro platform initiations and pursuits which we might call "normal"in any given European nation, but it seems to have exercised the debate of membership as new Norwegian Language lexicon for, "Ok..time to leave." This is Norwegian for how to clear a room.

This has provided for the right and left both to have established pro-membership dialogues within their individual parties. But what it cannot provide is any sort of alignment allowing the Thirty Five Articles of Ascension to even be mentioned by name. Norway enjoys a high status among EU nations in spite of this. Rather than being punished by Strasbourg, and quite contradictorily, due to Norwegian membership signing into the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), Norway enjoys a trade partner relationship in excellent standing with EU, both as a lone nation, and in partnerships with other nations internationally. Norway is a prime example of functional Euroscepticism, and cooperative effort to check the juxtaposing of the meta state upon its inner workings, as they can be quite different than most other European nations. 

Everyone Loves EU In Norway...Right?
Because Norway is a non-member state of EU, the presence of Euroscepticism is actually not officially a partisan or public ethos per se. While it has the enhanced role of activating a way out in other nations, in Norway, it has become a party-pooping subject blocking any sort of way in. Any of the nine parties can entertain entry, but the subject will literally clear the room in Norway. 

The vitality of coalition governments is completely dependent upon the cooperation of the opposing viewpoints which must co-exist in Parliamentary style regimes where two or more parties must find common ground. Therefore the discussion of EU membership, or anything EU, is arguably not a part of any framework or any established platform; rendering the political spectrum fractured with inner party divisions, community animosity towards membership, and no reliable fashion in which any of the nine parties could mount a coalition which would hold if it even so much as considered entertaining the issue for scheduled debate.

So it has uniquely occupied the place of a pariah, as Norwegian issues go: it is basically a formatted item on each and every new government's  formation that a prerequisite banning of even mentioning the words "Norwegian entrance into EU" continue to offer the kind of guarantees to ensure that the issue maintains its natural spot in the "Dead Issue" file. It is a "Panic Button" clause in the manifestos of coalition, press it, and the government fragments, and another must be assembled.

How is that NOT blackmail..?

For all intent and purposes, the dialogue of pro or con when referring to EU bears no official predilection for one or the other. Instead, it seems that Norwegians will condemn Brexit, until EU overlooks the particular issue which sets the two at odds. When questions which were arising in Norway as to whether or not Free Movement would be a point-of-contention in terms of migrants, the rush to redefine the policy's political existence was on in Norway. And internal and focused items of debate began to take a negative tone towards it.

EU reminded Norway of EEA, and provided the current and odd recognition status to Norway which it now enjoys, and in this fashion, Norwegian politicians loudly dismissed Brexit. EU and Norway have a blackmail style of lateral bargaining, as for all outward appearances, the method has become a part of the arrangement. Now, however, it has become a ritualized and formal system, one which could be summed up as "quid pro quo". But it remains unconcealed that Norway finds EU a source of national revulsion.

Therefore, the fascinating considerations which present themselves range from, "if Norway were a member, how would those nine parties metamorphasize to cope?" to, "would the need in Norway arise for a presidency which had more authoritative powers?" And either of these notions, as well as EU membership, have been polarizing Norway with ambivalence since the Labor Party breakup between 1979-89 in which Conseil D'Europa first suggested that its powers as trade manager and policy maker Eurowide be expanded. 

So...Norway's Embracing of EU Relationships Is Beneficial For Both? Or Is It Some Sort Of Political Blackmail?

It is odd, unique, and possibly both mutually beneficial, as well as political extortion. But it takes a minute to see why...

Traditionally, the left Labor, and right Conservative Parties, in normal EU nations, are extremely either Eurosceptic, or very open to limiting the reach of the meta state as it pertains to violation of a member-state's sovereignty. Examples where these would take a far more wider reaching stance, and possibly disastrous stance, would be EU banning ownership, and manufacture of personal firearms. Norway is a nation wherein interactions with wildlife, in particular, bears, can be tragic, thus EU gaining this kind of power is abhorrent to 66% of Norwegians themselves, whom, by clear majority, do not wish to be ruled within the meta state.

But the front and center presence of pro EU trade partner status, cutting through each party and politician, is in this aspect holding EU at the end of a pole. It is not going to pass the smell test making member state status a reality in Norway, but this wide spectrum acceptance allows special interests, such as fishing conservation, a more egalitarian volume in terms of dealing with EU, and other areas of multi national focus.

Macroeconomically, Norway's operations within the EEA and EFTA have been as far as they are able to go, willing or not. The fact is that Norwegians, themselves, cannot abide how any further practicality exists in advancing further beneath the umbrella of regulatory and statutory edicts and standards that compose the substance of EU, and this tends to illustrate how much independence holds a place in the "necessity" category. This is a characteristic of Norwegians. But the real question is not, "why will they not join?"

The real question is "why did the rest of EU member states permit this unique place which Norway occupies, and not follow suit?"

What I mean is, how are people in UK angry or frightened, when the clear design of EU is both unwanted in Norway, and without any of the voices in anger in regards for them which have been so contemptuous of Brexit?

The comparison to Norway as far as EEA purposes go, is not a cookie-cutter exact one, but it is fair to say UK may resemble a Norway without Free Movement of non European-born, yet Eurozone migratory peoples. The profile of Free Movement as the mother of the multicultural disaster makes sense in Britain, but like Croatia, where refugees just do not wish to go, Norway's exclusivity acts as a deterring force for large migrations of Africans and Syrians, and so does the bone-chilling cold.
Swedish-bound migrants can depend upon the foolishly large network of social programs as well as resources which are derived from the efforts of the working class.

Swedes accept propaganda in place of an itemized receipt explaining the manner in which these monies are threatening to inflate their economy on a scale that could threaten even its military viability. This process is already affecting its emergency services, police, fire, and hospitals. And likewise, Norway's bankers are completely aware of the emergent financial crisis. This is bound to provide security for EU entry-prevention for decades to come.

The EEA acts as the first fringes of the umbrella of EU and free movement, which via the Treaty of Maastricht, one of a series of treaties whose ratifications became part and parcel to EU, the original sixteen nations forming EU agreed to eventually deregulate their borders. However, Norway never signed this agreement, nor is it sufficient as instrument for describing the migrations of refugees throughout Europe: therefore migrants into Norway are greeted with a climate which requires dedicated study in order to survive, both in terms of winter, as well as diplomatically. Frankly, Eurostat numbers citing otherwise, as all Eurostat numbers, are cooked and presented in terms of providing a glowing vision of success for their bosses, and must be taken with a grain of salt.

The Treaty of Maastricht itself is a pretty good case study in the unseemly and devious way that EU operates: prior to the 2004-5 directive, Free Movement only referred to European-born peoples and those whose passports were internally stamped by a national customs and immigration official within a member-state, which allowed their border crossings to be free of the passport check. Slowly, as EU set about to usurp the national directions, and currencies, and what was left of member state sovereignty, gradually all souls, regardless of their status, were awarded this privilege.

 This has a lot of disaster waiting to happen, in terms of epidemiology, and terrorism: but the damage economically is already apparent. For any official to claim that Norway is engaged in this betrayal of its citizens as spelled out by the Treaty of Maastricht, as well as the Directive 2004-5, where the erosion of sovereignty begins, and the ECHR-verdict 15, this dialogue is greater than exaggeration. It is, in fact, a plainly spoken lie.

As badly as numbers are cooked routinely by Eurostat: even the EU Statistics Bureau will not go to that extent, and include Norwegian statistics as successes for meta state Eurocracies. What the numbers do relate is proof of substantial internal turmoil for its member states. The numbers it provides in regards to Norway can only preserve the keystone issue that staying out of EU is, this cannot be coincidence. For this reason Eurostat appears to be, at least in regards to Norway, a statistical expression of Aesop's "Sour Grapes".

Norway, otherwise has a very high and well-respected profile as member in good standing in several EU relevant international treaties and organizations, such as EEA or EFTA, NATO, and the UN.

But we see the rigid independence in other international organizations, like the International Whaling Commission (IWC), where Norway is a more visibly non-compliant agent-in-objection. Although a member, Norway has consistently refused to abide a 1982 mandatory and worldwide moratorium, and this was but a harbinger of things to come.

What develops here is the picture of both a population that objects to EU membership, is fiercely independent, but due to the dual role of political parties in Norway, and parliamentary political tendencies to focus on specific areas of interest in general, it is a picture of no linear comprehension of EU membership criteria, thus can appear to be discombobulated.

What it says in terms of political science is that a practical application of democracy both predates the sixteen years of destructive presence EU brings against member states, as well as stating the presence of a politically-motivated pro EU stance which keeps trade and economy at mutually beneficial levels. The conclusion is Norway's abidance of EEA and EFTA is as far as Norway is willing to commit. It also, once again, indicts any notion of the identities of Conseil De L'Europa, and EU, as being self-same.

But most of all, Norway proves that a path for good relations is extremely possible between non-members and the meta state. And like Norway's path to the status it enjoys as trade partner currently, Norway reminds us that this path shall not be identical for everyone, but it is the common ground experience which matters at the end of the day, not necessarily how we got there. Should, say, UK observe the Norwegian example, and not enthusiastically state the limits of UK indulgence of any sticking point, at that moment UK is not actually following the Norwegian example.

Likewise, it may benefit UK to state publicly, though not quite sincerely, that it misses being abused by the meta state. And that is simply the long and short of the Norwegian example's testimony, as it pertains to remaining friends, with benefits, in terms of EU relations.

Friends....with benefits!

To make a line of comparison between the meta state and Norway, then delineate any focused and detailed potential similarities with UK, it must also include the wide latitude with which any such negotiations are inclusive of very real, but not necessarily as pressing, national interests. Interests such as commercial fishing for British citizens may not matter to bankers more than what British Petroleum's profit margins may do after April of 2019.

Bear in mind that EU has managed to remain the elephant in Norway's room, thus any magnitude of EU deals must cut as motley and unique a set of parties and platforms as there are in Norway, thus it would not be wise to orient the process around traditional party platforms, for if we learned from Norway, then we learned that negotiating with EU cannot be successful without the comprehensive interests of each walk of life that there is in Norway, thus UK. As the example shows us, at least as it is in Britain, now, Euroscepticism shall return to the far left and right English platforms, and a willingness to negotiate be present on all points in the political spectrum.

But if we are not in EU, we should take Norway's example to heart as perhaps one way, but not the only way, to make the best of both worlds.

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