This means that EEA nationals who have previosuly worked in Norway, but are currently unemployed can go to their home country, while continuing to receive Norwegian unemployment benefits, reports ABC News.
Norwegian National Insurance Act states that you must physically reside in Norway for having the right to unemployment benefits. EFTA Court, on the other hand, states that Norway does not have right to ask this requirement. The Norwegian National Insurance Act is therefore in violation of Norway’s EEA obligations.
The court took the decision after the appeal of a Swedish craftsman who was denied unemployment benefits because he had moved back to Sweden after he lost his job at Svalbard.
Leader of Parliamentary Labour and Social Affairs Committee, Robert Eriksson (FRP), in response, asks Norway to renegotiate the terms of EEA Agreement.
– It will be very attractive to come to Norway from low-cost countries within the EEA area to work a shorter period of time and then they will go home in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and live on the Norwegian unemployment benefit, says he to ABC Nyheter.
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is a free trade organisation between four European countries that operates in parallel with – and is linked to – the European Union (EU). The EFTA was established on 3 May 1960 as a trade bloc-alternative for European states who were either unable or unwilling to join the then-European Economic Community (EEC) which has now become the EU. The Stockholm Convention, establishing the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the “outer seven”).
Today’s EFTA members are Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, of which the latter two were founding members. The initial Stockholm Convention was superseded by the Vaduz Convention, which enabled greater liberalisation of trade among the member states.