EFTA and Ecofin Meeting on jobs, growth and globalisation.

On 8 November 2005, State Secretary Geir Axelsen and EFTA representatives at political level met with Finance Ministers from the EU (Ecofin) in Brussels to discuss issues related to jobs, growth and globalisation.

15/02/2006 :: During the meeting there was a discussion on the ongoing work both at EU Community level and in individual countries to deal with the issues at hand. Globalisation is a challenge, but also provides numerous opportunities and potential benefits. Increased growth and employment is important in the context of ageing population, which was discussed between finance ministers of the EU and the EFTA last year.

The Ministers noted that the situation differs among the countries, but the overall picture is that further reform is needed. At the EU level, the Lisbon Strategy of structural reform has been relaunched in order to create more jobs and increased economic growth. In this respect, the National Reform Programmes of the individual EU member states have become the main governance tool of the renewed Lisbon strategy.

State secretary Axelsen underlined the Norwegian experience that for a small and open economy, forward looking policies is the best way to benefit from the opportunities of  globalisation. He also pointed to the importance of the EEA Agreement as a dynamic source of growth and job creation. The challenge of the new Norwegian government is to maintain and enhance these economic developments while we – at the same time – secure and strengthen the modern, Nordic welfare state.


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State secretary of the Ministry of Finance Geir Axelsen.Photo: Ministry of Finance.