Norway, an associated member of Europe

Reporting about my daily life from Norway isn’t always that adventurous, but can be a bit exciting anyway. The other day I had my car for a second yearly ‘EU control’. As I always want my readers to learn something from my posts, I take this opportunity to tell about Norway’s not full but associate membership in the European Union (political and economic community). It means e.g. that we are committed to implementing EU’s directives within reasonable time. This is a very good and reasonable one to ensure safety on the road. Others can be more ‘stupid’, but I’ll get back to that and more about EU after showing some pics I took with my Nokia mobile phone during the car check (yea: you are allowed to join if you don’t interfere):

EU Control #1
They are checking up everything and then I mean the whole car. Inside and outside – on top as well as lift it high and dry to check beneath:
EU Control #2 EU Control #2

EU is composed of 27 independent, sovereign, countries known as member states. Four Western European countries that have chosen not to join the EU have partly committed to the EU’s economy and regulations: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland has similar ties through bilateral treaties.

Why not Norway you might ask – especially since the other Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark and Finland are members? To make it short: It proves the bit of the Norwegian soul in eagerness to be independent and not let go of our sovereignty to the EU parliament. There was a referendum (special election) in 1972 and another in 94, both very tight in the favour of not becoming full members. My personal interpretations is that people know we are holding a fortune with the tremendous oil and gas resources in the North Sea and want it fully under our national political control.

In practise however, Norway is an integrated part of Europe through a full member of NATO, as well as the border controls, Schengen Agreement, and then this the European Free Trade Association. The last ‘makes us’ implement most of the directives like biannual auto control. I promised you a more ‘stupid’ example: the ‘cucumber directive’ which regulates the size and the shape of the vegetable. I’ll say like my hero Crocodile Dundee to directives like that with a political twist: ’It taste like shit, but you can live on it’ :lol:

Btw: During this weekend, I will attend The Norwegian Computer Society annual meeting or general assembly. Last year my regular readers might remember we were in Tromsø, The Gateway to the Arctic. This year we’ll be in Oslo at Holmenkollen Park Hotel. So stay tuned and in the mean time: Have a lovely end to your week ;-)

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  1. First I am really grateful to have a safe and reliable Audi to drive around thanks to my wonderful hubby!! I think the whole EU debate is fascinating. My one fear is that the EU will break down the individual cultures of the European countries. I hope that doesn’t happen because I think it is so much fun to experience new cultures and traditions without having to travel so far!!!

    Your welcome dear – safety first you know!
    Interesting thoughts about the EU union Diane. I think you are well adjusted to the Norwegians way of thinking now as this is another reason why Norway is an rebellion child in the neighbourhood.

  2. I like Norway’s sense of itself! You are a proud people and independent as well! I LOVE it. You know the motto in New Hampshire is “Live Free or Die”. We New Hampshire-ites are also independent and rebellious!

    I knew we where two of a kind Maribeth :-)

  3. “People know we are holding a fortune with the tremendous oil and gas resources in the North Sea and want it fully under our national political control…”

    Don’t we need to share, Renny? ;-)

    Most of the non-full members of the EU have quite selfish reasons why they don’t want to be full members but at the same time they enjoy almost the same perks as the EU members. Not fair, is my first reaction!

    Very good point Sidney and I do follow you and are agree! You know I am a European by heart – I just tried to report the general and typical Norwegian attitude. And: Of course we share: Most of our oil and gas goes to EU countries!
    Another thing: Norway pays more than one billion Euro to EU for our associated membership and it goes to the development of the poorest countries in Europe!

  4. It is nice to know that the people in your country love their independence. I think that is great because I love my independence too but most of all I love my freedom. Thank you for sharing what it is like to be in your country. I just love reading about it.

    I have something for you at my site.

    Love and Blessings,

  5. i have to say even though i have never been to europe my thoughts on the possible negatives of the EU mirror yours and what diane said. i can’t blame norwegians one bit for not wanting to relinquish sovriegnty over natural resources or loose parts of their cultures to any kind of homogenization. i think i would feel that way too.

  6. Wow ! I will inform our king that you are full of gas and petrol ! Maybe Belgium can take the petrol from Norway ? It must be very cheap to drive in your country just like in Bahrein. lol !

  7. It’s that independent Viking spirit! Keep it up, Norway!

    I reckon each EU country will fight tooth and nail to retain their national characteristics. certainly here in the UK we don’t like being bossed around :)

  8. I’d be interested in know which European countries have “full membership” in the “EU.” Even in the United States, some policy and regulations are still defined by state-to-state control.

    Have a good time at the annual computer society meeting – and take good notes (and photos) to share with your blogging friends!

  9. I had never heard of a EU car check! I know in France cars are supposed to undergo a yearly (maybe not yearly… can’t remember) “contrôle technique” but I think it just is about French standard.

    Good “lesson” on Europe. I was born in 1983, grew up in the Schengen area, I’m a EU kid. Also I still remember learning about the EEC and the EURATOM…

  10. We used to have yearly safety inspections here in Arkansas but they rescinded them several years ago.

    Your seafood feast on the previous post looks YUMMY! Anna did a good job, and I’ll bet you all did justice to her efforts.

    Have a great weekend, Renny! ;-)

    Love and hugs,


  11. Ha! Ha! Norway did a Good choice, Renny! And I can say if all french people had could vote for the new European Agreement, it would be not accepted. But the parlament voted and accepted it. You’re right to Keep your gaz and petrol in these hard days. I begin to think I will take my bike to go to work every day and practice the co- driving as well as possible.

  12. I think this bi-yearly car safety control is very wise, thanks to EU, which in fact started as a Peace Project with the Coal and Steel Union initiated by France and Germany post WW II.

    Great post

  13. In the US car safety is only taken that seriously in a few states! In Maryland, where I live, our cars only have to pass inspection if they are changing owners! This means that MY vehicle is 10 years old and has NEVER been inspected! But just one state over in Virginia, they must pass inspection every two years… Yet we are all allowed to travel on the same roads together! Silly, huh? So much here makes NO sense!

  14. We’ve been travelling in Europe for over 30 years, and yes there has been a certain amount of homogenisation. However, I don’t believe this is a result of the EU and its regulations. I think it’s more likely a result of general globalisation, modern communications, ease of migration, and so on.

    We have a large Polish community locally, in fact one of the nurses looking after my mother is Polish, and recently we have been finding Polish goods in shops more often, specialist restaurants too. This is not because the EU told us we had to have them :)

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