22 mars 2018
Today, on March 22nd 2018, the National assembly (Stortinget) has endorsed all the directives and regulations contained in the third legislative package for an internal EU gas and electricity market.
“Despite all the assurances given in the general election campaign last autumn, stating that the space to manoeuvre within the EEA Agreement would be actively put to use, we observe yet again that this flexibility, i.e. the right to veto, is not being used,” Mrs. Kleveland says.
The trade union movement, municipalities, county councils, mayors, parties and organizations have either said no or they have demanded that the decision on this case be postponed. This popular opposition won’t disappear. Rather, it will be reflected in a stronger demand to opt out of the EEA Agreement.
The Parliament majority have refused to act in accordance with paragraph 115 of our Constitution, which requires a three quarters majority vote when it comes to conceding sovereignty. In response to such an arrogance displayed by the majority, No to the EU, together with our allies and partners, will investigate the feasibility of a lawsuit in order to render today’s parliamentary decision invalid. The Constitution’s provisions must be respected and followed.
An independent Regulatory authority for energy (RME) will be granted authoritative power over Norwegian power and energy policy. RME cannot and may not be instructed or influenced by national political bodies. RME can be instructed solely by the Energy Agency ACER and the EU, through the EEA Surveillance Authority, ESA.
When the EEA Agreement was signed 25 years ago, unrestrained national control of the energy sector was a prerequisite, as was the case with fisheries and agricultural policy. The most eager defenders of the EEA Agreement have always maintained our right to say no – the right to veto – as a safety valve. However, at each and every crossroad, we have seen that the strongest defenders of the agreement threaten that the right to veto must not be used nonetheless, allegedly because it “might put our relationship with Europe at risk”.
In Iceland [also part of the EEA Agreement – translator’s note], recent Congresses in two of the three coalition parties presently in office have passed resolutions rejecting ACER. Hence, it is now the Icelandic parliament (Alltinget) and not the Norwegian Storting that will prove whether the flexibility within the EEA Agreement actually exists and whether there are politicians with sufficient backbone to utilize the veto option.
In this context, No to the EU strongly warns Norwegian authorities to refrain from any attempt at exerting political pressure against the fraternal people of Iceland and Alltinget. Neither the Norwegian nor the Icelandic people will tolerate any such interference.