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Expansion may strengthen EU membership interests

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Foreign Minister Jan Petersen (left) claims Saturday’s EU expansion strengthens membership interests. He presented the cabinet’s report Europaportal Thursday.

On Saturday, the European Union is expanded to include ten new countries. Foreign Minister Petersen said he thinks the expansion will increase the number of Norwegians who support EU membership.

«Definitely,» Petersen proclaimed during an interview with TV 2 Nettavisen.

Petersen highlighted recent pulls which indicate a clear support of Norwegian membership. He said he thought the reasons were firstly, the EU expansion, and secondly, the EEA agreement.

«EU is a living reality today, and it’s not foreign or frightening,» Petersen said.

Petersen presented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Europaportal Thursday. The goal with the portal is to collect information and links regarding EU and the collaboration in Europe at one location and to encourage debate. According to Petersen, the portal is going to function as a part of the government’s roadmap for Europe. The portal will be administrated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but Petersen rejected that it would be channel for people who support a membership.

«I urge people to look for themselves,» Petersen said. «We have nothing at all on the agenda. Our European policy is to take advantage of the possibilities within the forms of expression we have available. That some parties in government want to take it a step further, is no secret.»

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