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The Norwegian opposition to the European Union






Unlike in most other nations that gained their independence during the 1800s and 1900s, the national movement in Norway was not led by the urban middle class. Instead, mountain and fjord farmers were the base, led by popular high schools and the municipal councils. Their culture has therefore to an unusually high degree been able to shape Norwegian self-understanding. For this reason, it has been difficult for the upper middle class to market their favorite project, a top-down European superpower, in Norway.

The first resistance organization began in the NATO-hostile wing of the labor movement, as early as the 1960s. But when the question was seriously put on the agenda in 1972, the mountain and fjord farmers took the lead again, by transforming their organizations into an economic backbone for the resistance – among other things. they put a ”tax” on milk to fill the coffers of the resistance.

The principle for the resistance was otherwise to organize each sector of society separately so that each Norwegian met ”his own” in the resistance movement. Groups such as Workers against the EC, Farmers against the EC, Doctors against the EC, etc. were thus autonomous and had great resources to move around with. The unified People’s Movement dealt only with the great manifestations.

Despite the fact that the state and the business community stood united for a Norwegian membership, the opposition won in 1973, as it did again in 1992 (with roughly the same type of organization). In the meantime, however, the transnationalization of economic and cultural power has eroded the hegemony of mountain and fjord farmers, and a third success is likely to be difficult.



Published by Folkrörelsestudiegruppen: