The Norwegian Prime Minister and Finance Minister met with the EU Presidency

Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik met with the President of the EU Council, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, in Luxembourg on 3 February 2005. Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss accompanied Mr Bondevik as Mr Juncker also is Finance Minister and has been appointed the first semi-permanent President of the Euro group.

15/02/2006 :: The ministers discussed a wide variety of issues:
–  Foreign and defence policy, including Norwegian participation in battle groups and issues related to NATO/Trans-Atlantic relations.
– Economic policy co-ordination in the EU. Mr Juncker expressed cautious optimism that an agreement on reform of the Stability and Growth Pact could be reached in March, and on the Financial Perspective 2007-13 by June this year. He also underlined the importance of revitalising of the Lisbon Strategy in connection with its mid-term review.
–  EU President Juncker regarded the EEA financial mechanism as an important contribution to economic and social cohesion in Europe.
–  International issues, including recent developments in the Middle East and the flood disaster in Asia.
– Prime Minister Bondevik regretted the recent European Commission’s decision of imposing safeguard measures against Norwegian farmed salmon.
– The ministers also discussed bilateral/national issues, including recent economic developments and long-term challenges in the light of ageing population. Mr Juncker expressed a wish for a closer co-operation between the two nations in the development aid in some countries.
– The discussion also covered matters related to the Schengen agreement, the Nordic Dimension and the upcoming European e-health conference in Tromsø, Norway, in May.

Economics Minister Jeannot Krecké also participated in a working luncheon.

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Prime Minister Bondevik meets Prime Minister Juncker and Economics Minister KreckéPhoto: Homepage of Luxembourg government