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Norway and the EU - Historical Overview

Last updated: 08.06.2009 //  

"It is to recreate the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe."

Winston Churchill, 19 September 1946

 

1946 1963 1973 1991 1999 2007
1951 1965 1984 1992 2000
1957 1967 1985 1993 2001
1960 1969 1986 1994 2002
1961 1970 1989 1995 2003
1962 1972 1990 1996 2004

 

1946

September

British Prime Minister Churchill's "United States of Europe" speech.


1951

April

Six European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands) sign the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

 

1957

March

Treaties of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) and Euratom, signed by the six Member States.

 

1960

January

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is established by Norway, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain.

 

1961

July

Ireland applies to join the EEC.

August

Britain and Denmark apply to join the EEC.

 

1962

April

Norway applies to join the EEC

 

1963

January

The French President, Charles de Gaulle, vetoes Britain's EEC membership application, and the accession negotiations with Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Britain end.

 

1965

April

Merger Treaty, fusing the executives of the EC, ECSC, and Euratom, is signed

 

1967

Norway, together with Britain, Denmark and Ireland, applies a second time for EC membership. De Gaulle vetoes Britain's application a second time. Accession negotiations with Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Britain are suspended.

 

1969

De Gaulle resigns, and the membership applications of Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Britain are reactivated.

 

1970

June

Accession negotiations with Norway, Denmark, Ireland and Britain resume.

 

1972

September

A majority (53.5 per cent) of Norwegians vote against EC accession in a referendum.

 

1973

January

Britain, Denmark and Ireland join the EC.

July

The Community's industrial Free Trade Agreement with Norway comes into force.

 

1984

The start of the so-called "Luxembourg process", when an EFTA-EC ministerial meeting in Luxembourg adopts a declaration mentioning the establishment of a European Economic Space (later "Area").

 

1985

June

Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sign the first Schengen Agreement on gradual abolition of checks at their common borders. The Schengen co-operation starts as an inter-governmental co-operation outside the EC/EU framework.

 

1986

February

The Single European Act, which enables the EU to establish an internal market by the end of 1992, is signed.

 

1989

January

In a speech to the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, proposes a new form of partnership between EFTA and the EC, which was to become the Agreement on the European Economic Area (the EEA Agreement). His aim was "a new form of association, with common decision-making and administrative institutions."

July

EFTA member Austria applies to join the EC.

 

1990

January

The Schengen Convention is signed by the five original members of the group. When it comes into effect in March 1995, it abolishes the internal borders of France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands as well as of Spain and Portugal. Little by little the Schengen area is being extended to include almost every EU member, with the exception of the UK and Ireland. Italy signs the agreement in November 1990, Spain and Portugal join in June 1991, Greece follow in November 1992, then Austria in April 1995 before the five members of the Nordic passport union sign their agreements in December 1996.

June

Formal negotiations on establishing the EEA begin.

 

1991

July

EFTA member Sweden applies to join the EC.

 

1992

March

EFTA member Finland applies to join the EC.

May

The EEA Agreement is signed on 2 May in Oporto, Portugal. EFTA member Switzerland presents official application for accession to the EC.

November

Norway applies for membership of the EC.

December

A majority of the Swiss people vote against joining the EEA.

 

1993

January

The Single European Market (internal market) enters into force.

February

EC/EU accession negotiations with Austria, Finland and Sweden begin.

April

EC/EU accession negotiations with Norway begin.

November

The Maastricht Treaty, establishing the European Union (EU), comes into effect. The Treaty introduces the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and co-operation in the field of justice and home affairs (CJHA). The European security and defence policy (ESDP) is part of the CFSP.

 

1994

January

The EEA Agreement enters into force.

March

EU accession negotiations with Norway and the three other candidate countries end.

November

A majority of Norwegian voters (52.2 percent) reject membership of the EU.

 

1995

On 1 January Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union. Liechtenstein becomes a full participant in the EEA on 1 May.

 

1996

December

Norway and Iceland conclude a co-operation agreement with the Schengen countries. At the same time Denmark, Finland and Sweden accede to the Schengen Convention on gradual abolition of the common borders between the participating countries (all the EU members except the United Kingdom and Ireland). However, the Schengen Convention first enters into force for Norway, Iceland and the three other Nordic Schengen countries on 25 March 2001.

 

1999

January

The euro is officially launched. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain adopt the euro as their official currency.

May

The Amsterdam Treaty enters into force. The Petersberg tasks of the Western European Union (WEU) are incorporated into the Treaty on the European Union. They are humanitarian and rescue tasks, peacekeeping tasks and combat-force tasks in crisis management, including peacemaking. The Amsterdam Treaty also integrates the Schengen legislation into the EU framework. As a result of this, Norway and Iceland sign an agreement with the EU to extend their Schengen association.

June

The Cologne European Council places crisis management tasks (the Petersberg tasks) at the core of the process of strengthening the ESDP.

December

Within the context of the ESDP, the Helsinki European Council establishes a "Headline Goal" for EU Member States in terms of their military capabilities for crisis management operations. The aim is to establish a rapid reaction force of up to 60 000 troops by the year 2003. Norway has offered to contribute up to 3 500 troops supplemented by air and maritime elements to the force.

 

2000

June

Within the context of the ESDP, the Feira European Council defines four priority areas for the civilian aspects of crisis management. Member States should be able to provide 5000 police officers by 2003 for international missions. Norway has pledged to participate with up to 80 officers. Furthermore in the area of "Rule of Law" the EU aims to have available 200 judges, prosecutors and penal experts within 30 days. In the area of "Civilian Administration" the aim is to establish a pool of experts. In the "Civil Protection" area the EU aims to have some teams ready for engagement within hours and 2000 personnel on short notice. Norway is considering participating in all these areas.

December

The Intergovernmental Conference comes to an end with a political agreement on the Treaty of Nice, which paves the way for an enlargement of the EU. The Nice Summit also takes important decisions on permanent structures for the common European security and defence policy (ESDP) to be set up within the EU, on relations with non-members of the EU and on relations with NATO. Norway participates in the working group EU + 6 for European NATO members that are not members of the EU and in EU + 15 for the EU candidate countries and the European NATO countries that are not members of the EU.

 

2001

March

The Schengen Convention enters into force for Norway, Iceland and the three other members of the Nordic passport union. All passport control between Norway and the fourteen Schengen countries is abolished.

 

2002

January

The euro coins and notes enter into circulation in the twelve participating Member States: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

December

The European Council in Copenhagen completes accession negotiations with 10 candidate countries: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia

 

2003

January

On 1 January 2003 the EU takes over the police mission in Bosnia from the UN (IPTF). This first-ever EU crisis management operation under the ESDP (EU Police Mission (EUPM)) is launched with participation of 8 Norwegian police officers and experts. EEA enlargement negotiations open.

 

November

The EEA Enlargement Agreement is signed and ready for ratification. The Agreement ensures the participation of the 10 new EU Member States in the EEA following enlargement. The EEA EFTA States agreed to apply the same adaptations and transition periods as in the EU Accession Treaty. A new Financial Mechanism has been established through which the EEA EFTA States will contribute substantially towards the reduction of social and economic disparities in an enlarged Internal Market. Norway will in addition contribute to the same objectives through a separate bilateral Financial Mechanism.

 

2004

May

The European Union is enlarged with 10 new Member States. Simultaniously, the EEA Enlargement Agreement entered into force, establishing an European Economic Area consiting of the 25 EU Member States and the EEA EFTA States Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.  

October

The Heads of Government of the EU Member States sign the new Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. The Constitutional Treaty still has to be ratified by the National Parliaments (and by referandum in some EU Member States) before it can enter into force. The Constiutional Treaty will have no immediate effects on the relationship between Norway and the EU.  

2007

January

The European Union is enlarged with two new Member States, Romania and Bulgaria. Negotiations are ongoing between the EFTA EEA States, and the EU, regarding the conditions for enlargement of the EEA Agreement.

July/August

On 25 July Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway signed the EEA Enlargement Agreement with the Commission, Romania and Bulgaria. The agreement was applied on a provisional basis as of 1 August 2007, pending its entry into force.

 

 

 


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