The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Søreide (H), in a letter to the winners of the elections, Ap, Sp and SV, made it clear that the government will not take into account their desire to postpone the processing of the fourth railway package of the EU.
The Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party believe that the government should abstain consider the fourth EU rail package at Friday’s meeting of the EEA Committee.
Under the plan, new EU rail regulations will be incorporated into the EEA deal after the Storting approved it earlier this year.
The three parties, through the Storting’s European committee, headed by Aps Anniken Huitfeldt, have asked the government to postpone consideration of the matter until the new Storting takes office.
All three parties won a majority in the elections and are all against turning the latest EU rail rules into Norwegian law. They therefore voted against in the Storting.
But this was in June, and then the red-green parties got a majority against him.
Now they believe that it will not be politically musical for the government to implement the decision after the elections.
However, the new majority will not take effect until October 11.
Therefore, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) has indicated that she will not consider the request. It is “tradition to implement the decisions of the Storting,” he said.
The government does not take into account
Foreign Minister Ine Søreide (H) has formally responded to the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party in the Storting. In the letter, the Foreign Minister notes that the Storting approved the approval on June 1 this year.
‘The inclusion of the decisions in the EEA agreement at the meeting of the EEA Committee on 24 September follows from the decision of the Storting. The election of the Storting does not remove this, “he says.
At the same time, it makes clear that the government has no obligation to take the new Storting into account before he takes office.
“There are no special constitutional restrictions on the competence of the Government in the period between the notified resignation and the request for resignation presented to the Minister. The domestic law procedures for the incorporation of the fourth railway package have been completed on the Norwegian side. Therefore, the Government refers to the decision of the Storting in this matter, “he concludes.
Government: would have received criticism otherwise
Søreide states in an email to Aftenposten that the government does not have the opportunity to postpone the case. She notes that the EEA agreement requires the EEA Committee to consider the matter as soon as possible after the EU has changed its regulations. She also writes this on the response letter to the red-green parts.
– The most controversial thing would have been to do what the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party want, that is, to actively block the implementation of a valid Storting decision for purely political reasons. This is not how a government can act. All necessary legislative changes and preparations by Norway, based on the Storting decision in June, have also been completed. We would also waive our obligations under the EEA Agreement if we retain it. It’s a deal that a vast majority in the Storting is behind, he says.
He also believes that the government would risk criticism for interfering in government surveys on Hurdal.
– If the government failed to implement the Storting’s decision now, there would easily have been criticism that the government left the matter to the polls between the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party, and created problems there. It is no secret that opinion on the EEA agreement differs greatly between the three parties, he says.
In any case, the outgoing Foreign Minister believes that the railway package is good news for Norway.
– That is also the reason why the majority in the Storting approved it. By ensuring common European standards for railways, it may provide us with better opportunities for rail connections with Europe and, in the long run, it will also contribute to raising the quality of the rail offer in Norway, he says.
Aftenposten believes: The train to Europe must not derail
The Supreme Court said yes
The EU wants to make the train a more attractive alternative for both freight and passenger traffic. Among other things, railway cooperation will make things easier with cross-border trains.
Norway is already participating in the cooperation. Now the EU has taken new steps. Part of the package is that competition on the track should be normal.
If Norway accepts the measures that the package entails, it will in principle be very difficult to stop the tenders for all of Norway’s train lines.
The Supreme Court has also participated in the examination of the EU’s railway package number four. The question has been whether the package will be so intrusive to the exercise of Norwegian authority that it could be stopped by the Constitution. But in March, the Supreme Court ruled that the package should be considered “discreet.”
Therefore, it became clear that a simple majority in the Storting will decide a yes or no from Norway.