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Taxation without Representation?

Taxation without Representation?

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Through the European Economic Area (EEA) Norway gained closeness to the European Union (EU) only short of membership while at the same time retaining full formal sovereignty. In practical terms however Norway ceded extensive sovereignty and at present makes a net contribution to the EU budget on par with the Nordic member states. As Norway has no representation where decisions are made at the EU level, the democratic deficit inherent to the EEA is thus far bigger than that of the EU itself. In addition to being a first time mapping of the Norwegian public sphere on EU matters this book explores whether this democratic deficit is mirrored in public contention in the Norwegian public sphere, or if it is complemented by a publicity deficit. The main findings are that Norwegian state actors are displayed as the major losers in the opportunity structure offered by the EEA, being under pressure both from the EU level as well as from Norwegian non-state actors using EU legislation as their justificatory basis. Further, the loss of practical sovereignty and democratic control is, together with most other contentious EU issues, explicitly under-communicated by Norwegian state actors.