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EU and Norway find common ground on shared issues

Despite salmon disputes Norway and the EU found common ground on shared interests. It was Norwegian Prime Minister Bondevik’s first meeting with Barroso as Commission President.

15/02/2005 :: “Even among friends there are disagreements, but not everything in Norway-EU relations is about salmon,” said Commission President Barroso.

The Lisbon Strategy was central to their discussion, whereby both agreed the need for sustainable development to play an important role within the process.

Prime Minister Bondevik expressed concern for the current trend in some new member states in East- and Central Europe in their strive for economic growth at the expense of the environment.

“It is of great importance to Norway to find a balance between economic growth on one hand, and protecting the environment on the other,” said Prime Minister Bondevik. 

Norwegian EEA contributions through environmental programmes are aimed at preventing such trends in member states who are behind on economic development.

Commission President Barroso commended Norway’s positive decisions and its support of the new member states, which stand for an annual contribution of €225 million to the 10 new EU-members.

The EU and Norway also plan a close cooperative effort in an upcoming ocean research programme, signifying a stronger priority of maritime affairs research for the Commission.

In addition, both Norway and the EU strongly encouraged steps towards peace talks between the Israeli and the Palestinians in the aftermath of the agreed ceasefire.

 

 

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Bondevik and Barroso at the Press Conference in Brussels 8 FebruaryPhoto: Anne Grethe Nilsen/EU-del