‘I am proud’: Erna Solberg formally resigns as Norway’s PM

Erna Solberg tendered her resignation to the King on Tuesday ahead of Jonas Gahr Støre taking over as Norway’s Prime Minister later this week.

Erna Solberg pictured speaking at an event in 2020 has formally resigned as Prime Minister.
Erna Solberg pictured speaking at an event in 2020 has formally resigned as Norwegian Prime Minister. Photo by Norsk olje og gass on Flickr.

King Harald has accepted Erna Solberg’s resignation as prime minister following the proposed Norwegian state budget for 2022 being unveiled and ahead of Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre taking the reigns. Støre is expected to form a government and become PM on Thursday.

“He has accepted this (the resignation) and asked me to lead a business ministry until a new government is appointed,” Solberg, who has been the PM since 2013, told the press on Tuesday.

“It is sad to leave the helm when the Norwegian economy is doing well,” Norway’s longest-serving right-wing leader added.

READ ALSO: How Norway’s proposed state budget for 2022 could affect your finances

Solberg said she was proud of the progress Norway had made under her leadership.

“I am proud that Norway has taken many important steps. I believe we have pursued a policy that equips Norway for the future,” Solberg said.

The Bergen native remarked that she was grateful to have been PM for so long.

“I am grateful because there are few people who can sit for so long,” she said.

The King has formally tasked Jonas Gahr Støre with forming a government following a meeting between the pair at 2pm. Støre and Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum are expected to unveil their cabinet at Hurdal, where government negotiations have taken place, on Wednesday.

Solberg told reporters that she was relishing the chance to be in opposition.

“We will pursue a clear but constructive opposition policy. This country needs broad cooperation,” she said.

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Norway and UK sign joint declaration on cooperation 

Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre met his UK counterpart Boris Johnson in London on Friday, where the pair signed a joint declaration on strategic cooperation between the two countries. 

Norway and UK sign joint declaration on cooperation 

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre visited Downing Street on Friday and met UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, where the pair signed a declaration of cooperation between the two countries. 

“Britain is a good neighbour and close ally. We have a long tradition of close cooperation. The British are now outside the EU, and bilateral cooperation is becoming even more important than before,” Støre said in a statement on the government’s website

The joint declaration on bilateral strategic cooperation outlines defence and security, the climate and environment, research and innovation and education and culture as issues the two countries wish to cooperate on in the future. 

Støre’s visit was the first bilateral meeting of the countries’ PMs since Brexit. The pair also discussed the green shift, the war in Ukraine and defence. 

Støre also arranged a round table conference on energy, the climate and business with the UK Minister of Trade, Kwasi Kwarteng, and a number of representatives from Norwegian and British firms. 

“The green transition is important for our two countries. I spoke about our great ambitions for offshore wind, and this is one of many areas where Norway and the United Kingdom can cooperate more,” Støre said. 

Earlier this week, the Norwegian government announced that it would build 1,500 offshore wind turbines by 2040

Last year, the UK and Norway signed a post-Brexit trade deal, which the Norwegian government said was the largest free trade agreement the country had entered into outside of its arrangement with the European Economic Area.