Norway 2007

By | December 17, 2021

HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY

Northern European state. The population (4,520,947 residents at the 2001 census) is growing at an increasingly slow rate due to a lowering of the birth rate which essentially involves Norwegian women and is the consequence of the family planning measures adopted by the country in recent decades. The birth rate, which has consistently affected urban areas and central regions, has reached 10‰, that is a percentage completely insufficient to guarantee at least zero growth and therefore the current level of population of the country and its modest increase are ensured by immigration. The social development and the state of well-being achieved by the population (N. is at the top of the world rankings both according to the per capita income and according to the indicators of the quality of life of its residents) have determined a reduction in the mortality rate (9, 4 ‰ in 2006) and a consequent increase in life expectancy at birth, which has become one of the highest in the world.

The distribution of the population has remained uneven and, in highly urbanized regions, overlooking the central-southern Atlantic coast, the North Sea and the Skagerrak, where the highest densities of the country are reached (but always at the level of the lowest average densities of ‘Europe), is contrasted by a sparsely populated inland mountainous region.

Economic conditions

With the referendums of 1972 and 1994, Norway refused integration into Europe, but in 2004 with the enlargement of the European Union the question of the country’s accession arose again: currently Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), which groups together the 25 member states of the EU and 3 of the 4 member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway without the accession of Switzerland), and accounts for 80 % of exports and 70% of its imports with EU countries. It is also part of the Schengen Convention and cooperates on some important issues (foreign policy, defense, security). Given the important role of fisheries and aquaculture in the Norwegian economy, the country may have an interest in maintaining control of its maritime resources, remaining outside the EU, as well as the question of Norwegian oil in favor of non-membership. Contrary to what happens in other European countries, the availability of huge oil resources means that the economy benefits when the prices of oil and the dollar are high: the interest rate policies of the Norway and the EU are opposite and, in the case of a Norwegian accession to Europe,

In the first five years of the 21st century. Norway presented good macroeconomic indicators and GDP, apart from a slight slowdown in 2003, experienced a constant positive trend, essentially due to the increase in domestic demand. Private consumption was dynamic thanks to the growth of disposable incomes, which benefited from low interest rates, low inflation (2 % per annum in the period 1995 – 2005) and the enhancement of real estate assets. Hydrocarbons dominate all productive sectors: Norway has important oil and natural gas fields (26 % of GDP in 2005) located in the continental shelf of the North Sea, which allowed the country, in 2004, to establish itself as the eighth world producer of crude oil. Despite the importance of oil, the Norwegian economy remains diversified: its traditional pillars are raw materials (large hydroelectric potential, forests, fisheries), metallurgy, basic chemicals, the shipbuilding industry and large scale construction. oil platforms. The electrical and electronic industry and aquaculture also developed fairly well, developed in favor of exports, while the services sector (banking, insurance, transport and public enterprises) accounts for around 56 % of GDP (2005).

HISTORY

At the beginning of the new millennium, Norwegians continued to experiment with the alternation of center-left and center-right coalitions in government, called above all to find solutions to the problems connected with the modernization of the welfare state. In international politics, Norway acquired greater visibility thanks to the work of mediation in some regional conflicts (Srī Laṅkā and the Philippines) and participation in peacekeeping missions in Afghānistān and ̔Irāq. For Norway history, please check historyaah.com.

In March 2000, following the resignation of the center-right government led by KM Bondevik, it was the leader of Det Norske Arbeiderparti (Norwegian Labor Party), J. Stoltenberg, who presided over a single-party government, which listed public sector reform as one of its priorities., new privatizations, the consolidation of ties with the European Union and the strengthening of diplomatic activity. But in the political elections of September 2001, Labor suffered a sharp defeat, collecting only 24.3 % of the votes (the lowest percentage since 1909) and 43 seats. Far more satisfactory results, on the other hand, were recorded by the center-right parties: the Høyre (Conservative Party) obtained 21.2 % of the votes (38 seats), while the Kristelig Folkeparti (Christian People’s Party) 12.4 % (22). Also significant was the affirmation of the Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party), a right-wing formation in favor of a downsizing of the welfare state and a drastic reduction in immigration, which won 14.7 % of the votes (26). Thus was born a minority government made up of conservatives, popular Christians and liberals (Venstre, The Left), informally backed by the Progress Party and led once again by Bondevik.

One of the first significant acts of the new executive was the sending of soldiers to Afghānistān (Jan. 2002), framed both in the counter-terrorist military campaign Operation Enduring Freedom and in the multinational UN International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). But even more interest aroused in international public opinion by the government’s decision to reserve by law 40 % of the seats on the boards of directors of state-owned and listed companies (as of 2002) for women. Moreover, since 1981, the informal convention was in force in Norway to reserve 40 % of the posts in the government for women. In July 2003the executive also sent troops to ̔Irāq, despite not having previously supported military intervention: Norwegian soldiers were given the task of participating in the UN- authorized peacekeeping mission but, in mid- 2004, most of the troops were repatriated. In December 2004, the Parliament granted the authorization for the country to join the European Union military rapid reaction force, despite the fact that Norway was not part of it. A controversial decision, which aroused alarm in a part of public opinion for the fear of a downsizing of national sovereignty. In the political elections of September 2005the two major government parties lost consensus, while Labor recorded a clear affirmation: the latter, in fact, won 32.7 % of the votes (61 seats), against 14.1 % of the conservatives (23) and 6, 8 of the popular Christians (11). Good results were also achieved by the Progress Party with 22.1 % (38) and the Liberals with 5.9 % (10). He returned to the Stoltenberg government, at the head of a center-left coalition made up of Labor, the Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Left Socialist Party) and the Senterpartiet (Center Party). Among the priorities of the new executive (the first since 1985 to be able to count on a parliamentary majority) were announced the commitment to strengthen the welfare state, using the greater proceeds deriving from the increase in the price of oil, and the completion of the withdrawal of troops from Afghānistān and Irāq.

Norway 2007