I partiti norvegesi e l'Europa
Andrea Lucarelli - Università degli Studi di Bologna - [2003-04]
Since the early 1960s the European subject has been debated inside the Stortinget and among the population. The first time when the political parties debated the subject was in 1962. That was essentially caused by the Great Britain’s economic magnet. However, at that time, the imposition of French veto to Great Britain stopped also Norwegian’s aim to reach the European membership. The debate arose again some years later during the referendum of 1972. Two challenging groups have been already formed since the early 1960s; one with Labour party, Conservative party, Christian and Liberal in favour, and the other Agrarian party and the Extreme-left versus. Counting the two groups, there was a clear predominance of European membership’s supporters.. But the internal situation was changing rapidly inside the country and between the two opposite groups. Changing in government coalition and popular movement development restructured, in a different way, parties’ attitude to EEC. The referendum held in 1972, with the victory of NO, was an example of the change of view inside political class and reflected, also distance between political elites and population. All parties were affected by internal crisis and fractures like for the Liberals. The European issue was, after that experience, “put on ice” until late 1980s. The whole situation in Europe was changing. Crucial, in these years, was the tentative of the Labour party to bring Norway nearer to Europe then ever. The first step was SEA treaty that linked Norway to Europe but only for economic issues. Indeed it was still vivid the past in the minds of politician. Albeit, other Nordic countries were directed to apply for membership in the early 1990s, fear of another political “earthquake” made political class more wary. In the Stortinget, there was an extreme debate that brought to government’s crisis as it was in the 1970s. In 1994, following the other applicants, Labour government decided to held a second referendum. At that time two traditional opponent groups were built again at the eve of referendum more or less, by the same political work and popular forces of twenty years before. The result of referendum was again a victory of NO that reflected different points of view between parties and population, feared by loss of sovereignty and proud of its exceptionalism.
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