NTB has acquired this year’s draft report on Norway, prepared by EU. The report contains appreciation of the close relationship with Norway, but there are two things EU does not like in this relationship.
The Union deeply regrets Norway’s decision to increase tariffs on certain cheeses, and meat and urges Norway again “strongly” to change the mind.
The draft report states that benefits shared by Norway and the EU together, should not be jeopardized by the new import restrictions. Also further liberalization of trade in agricultural products is advised.
The controversy surrounding seal products are also discussed. Norway had asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to determine whether EU violates rules at the union banning all imports of seals and seal products.
The report criticizes Norway’s decision to take the issue to WTO and urges for closer coordination with the EU on the country’s position in cases that fall under the EEA Agreement.
Better Cooperation in Arctic
On the other hand, EU appreciates the relationship with Norway for the past two years, which have been characterized by a high level of cooperation and stability. In the difficult period of the debt crisis in the Euro zone, Norway has shown solidarity by providing over 50 billion NOK loan to the International Monetary Fund, according to the text.
EU also wants better cooperation in the energy sector and in the Arctic region.
– EU is ready to step up cooperation on Arctic issues in several areas of common interest, writes the report.