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Empty societies, security policy  Skagerak is closed – the continent is isolated

Empty societies, security policy Skagerak is closed – the continent is isolated

Again, there was a storm in Skagerak, again Color Line canceled departures, and again the flight to family in Aarhus had to take the country route via Scania and New Zealand. It usually goes well and we finally got over the fear of being charged, downloaded an audiobook and learned how to make packed lunches.

These trips – and others on the continent – ​​give us a constant update on the massive efforts EU countries are making to build green energy supplies. Shining solar panels on fields and factory roofs sparkle everywhere. The windmills become larger and more numerous each time we head south. Since 1990, the European Union has reduced its emissions by 33%.

Our emissions reductions are limited to 4.6 percent. It is true that we buy allowances in order to ease our frayed consciences, but the allowance system is subject to change and is complicating the process of adapting national indulgences to the global energy challenge.

The last decade before the turn of this century was one long confirmation that Norway's two decisions were the right ones. One EU summit after another has confirmed that the European Union is in a state of disintegration. The Maastricht Agreement, which introduced the euro, was never a success, and was met with criticism from many of the economically weaker countries in the EU. The refugee crises served as a magnifying glass on the problems that were on the table for the external border states. Over the course of the new century, the Union has fractured at its joints, and far-right governments have gained a foothold and challenged the Union's values ​​of the rule of law and human rights. Poland and Hungary appeared as loom and mulberry in Europe – mischief when the occasion arose.

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Then came the Russian invasion of Crimea, the civil war in Syria, and the problems associated with refugee flows, humanitarian aid, and security challenges. Brexit in 2020 was the most serious blow to the union ever. British newspaper address: “Mist in the Channel – The Isolated Continent” It was supposedly never printed, but would have graced the front pages of the Fleet Street tabloids of the time. For the hold-out side in Norway, Brexit was like May 17 every day, and the Center Party leadership was not slow to travel to the UK and congratulate them.

I was in Brussels after the city regained its natural pulse and realism began to emerge. We heard stories about how the EU's best negotiators and diplomats, the British, applied for new citizenship in Belgium. It is about hundreds of families who settled on the continent, married, and had absolutely no plans to give up their good jobs running the European Union. Thus, Britain was deprived of many of its best people, those who were due to take on the task of renegotiating many of the trade agreements the country had concluded as part of the European Union. In addition, the European Union was in no way interested in opening the doors.

One British government after another came and went, the country grew polarized, the threat of Scottish independence loomed, the economy atrophied, unemployment rose, and illegal immigration, the main argument for Brexiteers, continued as it had before. Perhaps the UK should have seized on its opportunities to reform the Union from within rather than opting out? Something was about to happen.

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The epidemic has reinforced a positive impression of the European Union, especially for Norway, which, thanks to Sweden's efforts, was able to participate in the Union's significant negotiating power vis-à-vis the pharmaceutical industry.

Important Barents cooperation between Russia, Sweden, Finland and Norway reached its peak just after the turn of the century – economically, politically, culturally and environmentally, but in just over ten years the optimistic dialogue has turned to suspicion and threats. The bicycle invasion of Syrian refugees (and others) above Storskog in 2015 sparked thoughts about Russia's intentions in hybrid warfare. Since then, things have worsened in relations with the great power of the East. The war in Ukraine has created a completely new situation. There are less than two years until the next election, but the good outlook is that safety and security will be a campaign theme.

In partisan terms, over the past five years both the Liberal Party and the MDGs have shifted from yes to yes in their positions on EU membership. The European Movement has doubled its membership in seven years. Heads of state and senior officers in our part of the world are racing to warn of real threats of war, we are stockpiling water and tinned food, and buying batteries for DAB radios as opinion polls warn of poor mental health and anxiety. A topic such as food security has gained much greater importance than increasing the degree of Norwegian self-sufficiency.

And not least, we are beginning to develop a real fear that our biggest and most important allies may be about to let us down. Military cooperation in the European Union is constantly evolving. Trump's presidency has been a partisan game of tragic fun, and his campaign this year has so far exposed the most deeply rooted dark man mentality in the United States. Trump or not, reforming this state of mind will take decades. In addition, the Gaza war revealed a gap between the United States and the European Union, as the Union became closer to Norway's position on the situation in the Middle East than the United States' position.

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Will we have another EU referendum in ten years? I think so.