Norway Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Norway Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Norway is a constitutional monarchy with the official name Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge). The head of state has been King Harald V since 1991. During his absence from the country or during illness, he is represented by his son, Crown Prince Haakon Magnus. Norway’s legislative body is the Storting, a unicameral parliament with 169 members. Based on the results of parliamentary elections held every 4 years, the king appoints a prime minister, who forms the cabinet, on the recommendation of the chairmen of the parliamentary political parties. The constitution does not require a vote of confidence by the parliament to start the new government’s activities (confidence will be demonstrated at the next vote on the state budget). The Constitution does not allow the four-year electoral term of the Storting to be shortened, therefore holding early parliamentary elections in Norway is not possible. The domestic political scene is extremely cultured and very stable. The economic results of the country undoubtedly contribute to the peaceful formation of domestic politics. Government crises are rare in Norway, and due to the constitutional absence of the institution of early elections, even minority governments that successfully rule the entire election period without protracted difficulties are not exceptional. The last parliamentary elections were held in September 2021 (the next one is planned for September 2025). It was the last election that brought a change of government – the center-left minority coalition formed by the Workers’ Party (Ap) and the Center Party (SP) came to power, and Ap leader Jonas Gahr Støre became the Prime Minister. The establishment of his government in October 2021 ended the eight-year era of right-wing governments by Prime Minister Erna Solberg. She continues to lead the Conservative Party (H), which became the main opposition force in the country after the elections (it won just over 20% of the vote). The long-term strongest political entity in Norway is currently the ruling Ap (in the 2021 elections, it won 26.3% of the vote, which is, of course, a record low by its standards). Currently, however, the most popular party is the opposition H. Check computerminus to learn more about Norway political system.

Composition of the government: Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap) – Prime Minister, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) – finance, Marte Mjøs Persen (Ap) – labor and social inclusion, Ola Borten Moe (SP) – research and higher education, Bjørnar Selnes Skjæran ( AP) – fisheries, Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim (SP) – international development, Anniken Huitfeldt (AP) – foreign affairs, Bjørn Arild Gram (SP) – defence, Espen Barth Eide (AP) – climate and environment, Kjersti Toppe (SP ) – children and family, Sigbjørn Gjelsvik (Sp) – local government and regional development, Jon-Ivar Nygård (Ap) – transport, Terje Aasland (Ap) – oil and energy, Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) – health, Anette Trettebergstuen (Ap ) – culture and equal opportunities, Jan Christian Vestre (Ap) – industry and trade, Sandra Borch (SP) – agriculture, Tonje Brenna (Ap) – education, Emilie Enger Mehl (SP) – justice

Foreign policy of the country

Norwegian foreign policy places great emphasis on active engagement in the multilateral system, developing cooperation with Nordic partners, strengthening bilateral relations with the USA, the UK and geographically close EU/NATO member states. It takes a pragmatic approach to the bilateral relationship with neighboring Russia (even after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Norwegian-Russian practical cooperation continues in selected areas in the Arctic) and China (long-term negotiations on negotiating an FTA are ongoing). An important element of Norwegian foreign policy is development cooperation and the resulting partnership with selected countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. In the years 2021-22, Norway is one of the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and in this position actively profiles itself in a number of international-political areas, such as the protection of women and children in war conflicts, strengthening the link between the climate and security agendas, humanitarian aid to Syria or ensuring global access to vaccines against Covid-19. The cross-cutting themes of Norwegian foreign policy are in particular the support of multilateralism and the international legal order, the liberalization of international trade, the fight against the negative effects of climate change, the defense of human rights in the world, the economically sustainable use of the oceans and cooperation in the Arctic. Check relationshipsplus for Norway defense and foreign policy.

When it comes to Norway’s relationship with the EU, both Norwegian and EU officials like to talk about Norway as a country that, although it is not part of the EU, is almost an integral part of it (joint activity in the EEA, involvement in Schengen cooperation, etc.). Norwegian membership in the EU is still not current, citizens have twice spoken against Norway’s EU membership in the past (53.6% of votes against in a referendum in 1972 and 52.3% of votes against in 1994). In recent years, the number of opponents of the country’s entry into the EU has stabilized at around 70%. The current government coalition respects this majority opinion, but tries to act more actively towards the EU and intervene as far as possible already in the preparation phase of decisions affecting Norway. It emphasizes the need to promote Norwegian interests in the EU and further deepen cooperation with the EU within the EEA and in the field of foreign policy. On the contrary, since 2012, there was a significant increase in Norwegian society’s support for the EEA agreement. In 2012, 46% of Norwegian citizens expressed support for the agreement and 34% would oppose it. In 2019, it was already 60% for and 25% against the agreement. The strongest support for the EEA agreement can be seen among voters of the conservative Høyre party, while the weakest among voters of the Reds. The growing support for the EEA agreement is often explained by public concerns about Brexit, good cooperation during the pandemic, as well as the strong profile of the EU in topics that are close to Norway (e.g. climate). Trade unions, especially the Federation of Trade Unions, remain vocal critics of the EEA agreement in the Norwegian environment, pointing to negative manifestations associated with the implementation of the agreements, such as social dumping or increasing labor crime. The Norwegian government’s key topics in relation to the EU are cooperation in the field of climate protection, energy, fisheries and scientific research cooperation. Norway will strive for a wider involvement of the CS EU in the ocean protection agenda and will itself strive for the maximum possible degree of participation in new EU defense initiatives. Among EU countries, Norway traditionally gravitates especially towards its Nordic neighbors and Germany.

Population

Population: 5,425,270 (as of 1/1/2022)

Population density: 15 inhabitants/km2

Annual increase: +33,901 inhabitants. for 2021, the migration of citizens from EU/EEA states, which reached its peak in 2011, and immigration from third countries, which culminated during the wave of migration through Europe in 2015, have a major share in population growth. In the coming years, the government is trying to reduce the numbers of new incoming asylum seekers by tightening immigration policy.

Demographic composition: In 2014, the number of foreign nationals settled in Norway exceeded 10%, and at the end of 2020 it was 14.8% (800,000). The largest national minority consists of citizens of Poland (112 thousand), followed by citizens of Lithuania (48 thousand), Sweden (39 thousand), Syria (34 thousand) and Germany (26 thousand). Mass refugee waves since the mid-1990s have resulted in a higher number of communities from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Kosovo living in Norway (over 10,000 each). Around 50,000 people live in the Arctic regions. Sami (Laps). In recent years, the aging of the population has become more pronounced in Norway. Average life expectancy: women 8years and men 8years. The majority of the population are members of the state Evangelical Lutheran Church (Church of Norway). About 371,000 people join the Roman Catholic Church. believers and Islam approx. 169 thousand followers.