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  • Jon Erik Dølvik, Kristin Alsos & Anne Mette Ødegård

Innenfor eller utenfor: Rammene for arbeidslivspolitikk ved ulike EU-tilknytninger

  • Internasjonal politikk  | 
  • 2023

Inside or Outside: The Framework for Working Life Policies in Various EU Connections

In the debate about Norway’s relationship to the EU, the consequences for working life policies have featured centrally. This article first describes what the strife over labour market regulation under the EEA-agreement has been about. Then it discusses how the most relevant alternatives to the EEA-agreement – a British-inspired free trade agreement and EU membership – may influence the ramifications for national working life policies.

Norxit will increase the formal room for manoeuvre, but increased barriers to cross-border trade and mobility of labour and services will alter the economic-political frameworks for working life policies. Replacing participation in the single market with a free trade agreement will probably imply reduced growth in investment, trade, production and employment. Further, evaporation of the «national compromise» about the EEA-agreement, and weakened competitiveness for business, is likely to heighten the level of conflict in working life and economic policies.

EU membership will mainly entail the same formal frameworks for working life policies as the EEA-agreement, but will strengthen the politico-democratic basis for coalition-building and influence on EU labour market regulations. Membership may imply significant adjustments for agriculture and fisheries, but can open new export opportunities for the seafood and fishing industry. Loss of independent monetary policy through memberhip in EMU/euro, will imply increased burdens on fiscal and wage policies, but the preservation of national currencies in a number of EU member states illustrate that there is no automatic coupling between between membership in the EU and EMU.

Dølvik, J. E., Alsos, K., & Ødegård, A. M. (2023). Innenfor eller utenfor: Rammene for arbeidslivspolitikk ved ulike EU-tilknytninger. Internasjonal Politikk, 81(4), 615–630.