A Norwegian in the European Parliament?
Yes, it might become a reality next year. Eva Joly, a Norwegian-born woman with both a French and Norwegian passport, have been suggested to top the French Green‘s list for the European Parliament elections next year, according to several media reports.
Joly, who became famous in France for her anti-corruption work as a judge, is currently working for the Norwegian government as a special advisor on economic corruption. I find two things especially interesting in relation to this.
Firstly, she will be the second Norwegian to have an official position within the EU, if she is elected. Many pro-Europeans in Norway have joked around about changing their citizenship or seeking political asylum in a EU-state due to the abysmal EU-debate and undemocratic EEA-agreement. Joly now actively does something about the Norwegian apathy to the EU. The fact that she can be the first Norwegian to actively participate in the European democratic debates and decision making, is truly remarkable. Furthermore, as a majority of woman in Norway traditionally are the more eurosceptic, her embrace of the EU as a peace-project may persuade women to be less sceptic to the EU,
Secondly, she elaborated her view of the EU to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet yesterday (my translation): ‘Europe has changed very much since our neighbouring countries Sweden, Denmark and Finland became EU-members. I believe Norwegian membership will strongly affect the EU due to our democratic traditions, our past as a non-colonial power and our views on the environment and development.’ Furthermore she added that the Norwegian environmental policy correspond well with the Green party.
I agree with her analysis and I believe that Norway should be a member of the EU, because small countries do have a say in important matters of the EU. Just look at the Swedish contribution to enhanced transparency in the EU, to the Finnish contribution to security and the Danish to the environment. I’m quite confident that Norway could contribute constructively to improve the Common European Fisheries Policy (CFP) for example, being one of the largest fishing nations in Europe.