Could major Norwegian party advocate EU membership?

Could major Norwegian party advocate EU membership?
Trine Skei Grande, leader of Venstre (The Liberal Party of Norway). File photo: AFP
A number of local departments say they are in favour of the Liberal (Venstre) party supporting EU membership for Norway.

Following annual conferences held by the party’s county-level groups last weekend, the Vestland, Viken, Oslo, Rogaland, Vestfold and Telemark all supported motions to making a Norwegian ‘yes’ to future EU membership a party principle for the Liberals, a junior partner in the coalition government.

Business minister Iselin Nybø, who led the committee which proposed the motion, said that the question of EU membership is likely to dominate the party’s national congress in April.

“The big challenges faced by the world need us to work together to find solutions, and I think the Liberals are ready to select to the EU as the collaborative arena,” Nybø told news agency NTB in a written comment.

But Liberal party leader Trine Skei Grande, who will be standing for re-election at the national congress, is opposed to Norwegian EU membership.

A minority in the committee setting forth policy proposals, which includes former leader Odd Einar Dørum, wants to retain the current wording that any future EU membership should be decided via a referendum, NTB reports.

The Liberal party in Møre and Romsdal also had its annual meeting last weekend, but did not decide on the EU issue.

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