Solberg hopes for EU membership

Foto: (Foto: Berit Almendingen/TV 2 Nettavisen)

The newly elected Conservative leader Erna Solberg hopes Norway will become a member of the European Union before 2009.

Solberg promised at the national convention Sunday that the Conservative party would work actively to get a majority for EU membership. The party had already adopted a resolution to get Norway into the union as soon as possible. The participants at the national convention want membership before the next Storting period.

There are few things the Conservatives agree so strongly on as the EU, but Solberg and the remaining party leadership do not have a specific opinion on how many referendums Norway should have.

«We used to be supporter of one, but we are now open to look at other solutions,» Solberg said. «We can probably come to an agreement regarding this with the other parties.»

She claims it should be possible for Norway to become a member of the union before 2009, but admitted that this is also dependent on whether or not EU has capacity to institute the ten new membership countries on all levels in the cooperation.

«And in the meantime, we will throw ourselves into the debate, in society and within the party,» Solberg explained. «Many are in the question face, and we are going to be there with answers. We are going to convince people that Norway is going to be able to defend its interests in the best way within the union.»

She said she hopes that an EU active Conservative party also will convince other parties to change their opinion of membership.

One in five wants the newly elected Conservative leader as prime minister, while only 11 percent want the current prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, according to a pull conducted by TV 2.

Labor leader Jens Stoltenberg is still popular, and one in three wants him back in the prime minister chair. Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress party, is loosing support. Only 13.5 percent want him as prime minister.

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