Country Profile: Norway
Prepared by: Lakeland High School Model U.N. – 2023
Norway is a constitutional monarchy with three main branches in its government; Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Though the king is part of the Executive branch, his power is largely symbolic. He does, however, formally convene the Council of State, which is comprised of the Prime Minister and his or her council. Aside from this, the king is the High Protector of the Church of Norway, Grand Master of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, and symbolically Supreme Commander of the Norwegian armed forces. The Legislative Branch–otherwise known as the Storting–is a unicameral parliament, with its members being elected every four years by popular vote. Elections to the 169-member Storting (like congress) occur every four years. Seats are filled by proportional representations. There is a multiparty system, but the Progress Party, which believes in limiting immigration and the welfare state, has been the majority party since the late 1980’s. Other influential parties are the Christian People’s (Democratic) Party, the Center Party, the Socialist Left Party, and the Liberal Party. The Judicial branch is comprised of multiple courts, the regular courts including the Supreme Court, courts of appeal, city and county courts, and conciliation councils. There is also the Supreme Court of the Realm, though this one is considered different from the regular courts. This court hears impeachment cases made against people in the government, parliament, or Supreme Court.
Major players in current Norwegian politics are:
- Jonas Gahr Støre– Prime Minister (Labour Party)
- Trygve Slagsvold Vedum- Minister of Finance (Center Party)
- Anniken Huitfeldt -Minister of Foreign Affairs (Labor Party)
- Ola Borten Moe- Minister of Foreign Affairs (Center Party)
Jonas Gahr Støre is of the Labour Party. He has established that his main goal as Prime Minister is to increase stable employment, fight work-related crime and to stop the release of the taxi industry. He has noted that it is best to do this by improving the use of Norway’s natural resources. He also intends to make travel easier between the various islands that lack a road connection to the mainland. In addition to this, Store is pro-green-energy, and has defended the idea of increased sales tax on higher-end electric vehicles in the hopes of building more charging stations for electric cars.
Norway has an incredibly prosperous economy, with about 20% of it being its oil and gas industries. Other key factors are its hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Petroleum accounts for about 37% of all Norway’s exports, even though they are the second most prolific exporter of seafood in the world. Overall, Norway has an incredibly high income tax burden at about 47.8% for individuals and 22% for corporations, and government spending amounts to about 51.8% of gross domestic product (GDP). In the past 3 years, the budget surplus has averaged about 1.8% of the GDP and public debt is equivalent to about 42.4% of GDP.
Norway’s military is compulsory for all fit Norwegian men and women between 19 and 44 years old. Currently, the Armed Forces consists of about 25,000 personne, where full mobilization can produce about 83,000 people. Norway was the first country in Europe to draft women as well as men, beginning in 2013. The military is divided into multiple branches, these being the Norwegian Army, the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Norwegian Cyber Defence Force and the Home Guard.
Norway is a member of NATO. It was actually one of the founding countries due to its being overrun by Germany in 1940. Norway is also a founding member of the Council of Europe and the European Free Trade Association. Norway has often played a third-party role in mediation among other countries, however is often accused of picking sides. Israel, for example, is often criticized by Norwegian politicians. There are also issues with Norway’s relationship with Ethiopia due to Norway’s efforts to help Eritrea. Ethiopia has expelled multiple of Norway’s diplomats. In response, Norway has cut off aid to Ethiopia. Norway was one of 51 countries to help the U. S. on September 11th, 2001, and also deployed a military invasion to overthrow Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, though due to frustrating results, the countries involved withdrew in 2021.
Role in the United Nations
Norway’s general assembly was created in 1945 under the charter of the United nations. Norway’s committees are carried out in 6 ways all of which are centered on researching one specific issue. Norway’s United Nations Security council is responsible for maintaining peace and security throughout Norway.
Norway plays a larger role on the Security Council in 2022 than in past years . Norway is a founding member of the UN. Norway is going to lay the groundwork for Norway’s efforts and priorities as an elected member of the UN security council. Norway wants to strengthen the UN’s capacity to prevent and respond to humanitarian crises and to promote international cooperation for refugees and migrants. Norway promotes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with particular emphasis on supporting an integrated pandemic response, and on the areas of education, health, gender equality, the oceans, climate change, and financing for sustainable development. Norway wants to strengthen the UNs capability of preventing and resolving conflict.
Current Role in Climate Change Mitigation
Norway is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In the past, Norway had created a plan of reducing climate change by 40 percent, specifically greenhouse gas emissions. As of 2022, Norway has taken climate change into a deeper consideration. Norway has ratified with the EU on the international Paris agreement on climate change. Norway is a part of the EU Emissions Trading System. Norway is considered one of the world leaders in renewable energy and sustainable resource handling. While Norway itself has not claimed a climate crisis, the Prime minister of Norway has called that there is a crisis. Norway’s end goal in the mission for a better future will depend on the choices it and the rest of the world make. In preparation for Norway’s low emission society, Norway is guiding everyone to pull their own weight.
Country Reports. “Norway government structure and political parties. |.” CountryReports.org, Country Reports, 2022, https://www.countryreports.org/country/Norway/government.htm. Accessed 9 November 2022.
Murray, Lorraine, et al. “Norway – Government and society.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannica, 2022, https://www.britannica.com/place/Norway/Government-and-society. Accessed 9 November 2022.
“Norway in the UN.” Norway.no, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2022, https://www.norway.no/en/missions/UN/. Accessed 9 November 2022.
Norwegian National Security Authority. “About the Norwegian National Security Authority.” Nasjonal sikkerhetsmyndighet, Norwegian National Security Authority, 2022, https://nsm.no/about-nsm/about-the-norwegian-national-security-authority/. Accessed 9 November 2022.
Østhagen, Andreas, et al. “For Norway, the risk of conflict in the Arctic has increased.” The Arctic Institute, The Arctic Institute: Center for Circumpolar Security Studies, 20 October 2022, https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/norway-risk-conflict-arctic-increased/. Accessed 9 November 2022.
United Nations. “Norway’s long-term low-emission strategy for 2050 Introduction.” UNFCCC, United Nations Climate Change, October 2019, https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/LTS1_Norway_Oct2020.pdf. Accessed 9 November 2022.