Friday, November 2, 2007

This article is part of the series:Norwegian EU referendum, 1994 Politics and government of Norway
A referendum on whether Norway should join the European Union was held on 28 November 1994. After a long period of heated debate, the "No" side won with 52.2 per cent of the vote, on a turnout of 88.6 per cent. Membership of what was then the European Community had previously been rejected in a 1972 referendum, and by French Veto in 1962 and 1967.
The "No" campaign was led by Anne Enger Lahnstein, leader of the Centre Party. Her party, the Labour Party, was divided on the question of Norwegian membership of the Union. She refused to threaten to resign if the referendum failed to result in a "Yes" vote, on the grounds that more serious divisions could have arisen in the Labour Party. The main arguments of the "Yes" side were that as a European country, Norway belonged in the European Union, and that Norway's economy would benefit greatly from membership.
Several explanations have been put forward as to why the "No" side won, including bad campaign management and preparation on the part of the "Yes" campaign, old cultural cleavages in Norwegian society, and the country's membership of the European Economic Area, which already made Norway part of the same common market as the EU.

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