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Norway

Yearbook 1997

1997 NorwayNorway. The year was marked by the Storting election, which took place in October. Prime Minister Jagland, who in an effort to secure votes declared that his government would not remain if the Labor Party received less than 36.9% of the vote (the 1993 election results), had to take the consequences of its ultimatum and resign when his party only got 35.1%. The country's second largest party after the election was Carl I. Hagens Progress Party with 15.3%. A minority coalition built by the central parties Christian People's Party (13.7%), the Center Party (8.0%) and the Liberal Liberal Party (4.4%) took over government power.

According to Countryaah, the new government, which together has only 42 of the Parliament's 165 seats, was characterized by strong opposition to the EU, a willingness to use more of the oil income directly and a high female representation. Kjell Magne Bondevik from the Christian People's Party became new prime minister.

The Social Democratic government resigned after pushing through the 1998 budget, leaving behind a very strong economy based on increased oil revenues. Unemployment fell during the year to just under 3%.

The new government inherited an environmental scandal reminiscent of it at Hallandsåsen. At a tunnel construction in Oslo, the same toxic sealant (Rhoca-Gil) had been used. The tunnel leaked heavily, causing lakes in the area to dry out.

A growing irritation between the Norway and the United States came today in connection with the payment of the modernization of Norwegian fighter aircraft carried out by a US company. Norwegian audit authorities were denied transparency in the contracts, worth NOK 2.7 billion, at the same time as an American report showed irregularities in accounting and invoicing.

Relations with Iceland also became frosty during the summer, when the Norwegian authorities fined an Icelandic trawler and its captain for fishing off the Norwegian coast without properly communicating the authorities.

1997 Norway

The earliest traces of people in Norway date from 9-7. millennium BCE It is believed that Germanic tribes emigrated to these areas as glaciers retreated from coasts and mountains in Northern Europe. There are cave paintings that show that the people at that time could sail and use skis to transport themselves over the snow.

The written history places the creation of the Norwegian nation and the Christianity of the country for the period 800-1030 AD Viking King Harald Hårfager is considered the founder of the nation. A task he embarked on after crushing his rivals in a sea battle in Hafrsfjord near the present Stavanger. He thus got most of the land under his control. The Vikings expeditions expanded the country's dominions. The Vikings reached as far away as Greenland in the north and Ireland in the south. According to official history, the Norwegian left Leif Erikson and his men in 1002 left Iceland and went west. They were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic and reach America, which they called Vinland.

At the end of the Viking Age, Norway was an independent country, where 4 regional peasant assemblies - laying - elected the monarch. On this lay, both the king's "real" and "illegitimate" children had equal rights in terms of succession. In it 11-12. century it happened frequently that two kings ruled the country at the same time - without conflict.

King Magnus III Barefoot (1093-1103) conquered the Scottish islands of the Orkneys and Hebrides. His three children reigned jointly, instituted the payment of the tithe tax, founded the first monasteries, and built cathedrals. The increasing power and conflict between the monarchy and the church at the beginning of the 12th century led to a civil war that lasted for 100 years. The war continued until the coronation of Haakon IV in 1217. The new king reorganized the administration and introduced succession monarchy. He made an agreement with Russia on the border in the north between the two countries. Greenland and Iceland agreed to enter into a personal union with the King, and with the Faroe Islands and the Scottish Isles now gained the largest extent of the Norwegian Empire.

In 1349-50, the black plague cost half the population life. The upper class was greatly reduced and it had to pick up Danes and Swedes to fill higher positions within the government and the church. Yet, the kingdom lost control of its colonies, and the isolated areas formed their own independent administrations. When Margrethe I of Denmark was inaugurated as queen in 1387, the foundation of a union between the Scandinavian countries was created. In 1389 she was crowned queen of Sweden and in 1397 her adopted nephew in Kalmar was elected king of all of Scandinavia. With the Kalmar Union, Norway gradually became subordinate and eventually transformed into a Danish province.

Danish colony

From 1523, the Norwegian administration sought to gain greater independence from Denmark, but the dominance of the Catholic bishops made it difficult for Sweden to support. After a civil war in 1533-36, the council was abolished. In 1537 the Danish king introduced the Lutheran religion into the country, and from that point on the Norwegian church was state. In this era, social conditions in Norway were more favorable than in Denmark. There was a rich landlord class utilizing the country's tree resources and an extensive land proletariat. However, the majority of the population consisted of farmers and fishermen. The cities had less than 15,000 residents. (See Dancing Time).

Local government in Norway

Local government in Norway includes all political and administrative bodies that are subject to municipalities or county municipalities.

For the municipalities, this applies, among other things, to the maintenance of the primary school, the elderly care, the primary health service (the GP) - as well as a wide range of technical tasks such as renovation, water supply and sewerage, construction and maintenance of roads.

For the county municipality, the most comprehensive administrative task is related to higher education, but the county municipality is also responsible for adult education. Other important tasks for the county municipality are the dental health service and the construction and maintenance of parts of the country's road network (county roads).

Regulation

The authority municipalities and county municipalities have to take care of these administrative tasks is regulated by the Municipal Act of 1992. The law first and foremost specifies how the political and administrative work must be taken care of and organized in each municipality and county municipality. However, what specific actions the municipalities must take care of are not determined in this law.

Ever since the municipal management system was established through the Presidency Acts of 1837, the main principle has been a negative delimitation of the municipalities and counties' business areas. In practice, this means that the municipalities are free to take on any task that is not required by law to be managed by other bodies.

Today, this principle has been undermined to a certain extent by a large number of state laws that impose responsibility on municipalities and counties for the fulfillment of a wide range of tasks - mainly tasks related to the provision of various welfare services to the population. In this sense, local government is extending the welfare state's extended arm to service users, which also means that the task solutions have become increasingly standardized across municipal boundaries. At the same time, it is recognized that there is a need to adapt the service provision to local conditions, which is primarily only possible to realize through bodies that have a certain degree of independent decision-making authority.

Although the municipalities and counties have been able to enjoy a considerable freedom - in principle - throughout the years to make independent choices as to what tasks they should perform and the way in which these tasks should be carried out - the municipal government has not had any constitutional status. It was only in 2016 that the Constitution Section 49 received the following addition: "Citizens have the right to manage local affairs through local elected bodies". In principle, this draft law gives greater political and administrative independence to municipalities and county municipalities, while not depriving the state of the opportunity to delegate new tasks to the municipalities or limit the authority of the municipalities through changing the responsibility for the management of certain tasks. An example of the latter happened when the county municipalities were deprived of responsibility for the establishment and operation of public hospitals in Norway in 2002. At that time, a new level of administration was established for the hospitals - the regional health authorities.

Reforms

In the 2000s, there has been a continuous debate about the municipal structure and the future of the county municipality. With regard to the municipality structure itself, the Storting in 2017 made a decision with the fewest possible majority that reduced the number of municipalities from 426 to 358. This is the lowest number of municipalities Norway has had since the municipal autonomy was introduced. In practice, the new municipal structure will not fully function until after the municipal elections in 2019.

When it comes to county reform, it is still unclear what the end result will be. Finnmark's opposition to the decision to merge with Troms has also opened up a new debate about other county mergers - and where opposition to this reform has increased especially in Viken. In September, however, the government stated that the original decision on the regional division from 2017 was firm.

In addition to these municipal and county municipal administrative units, the state has also established a number of local government administration and service units. In total, Norway has about 40 different state regional management systems - everything from local NAV offices, police districts to health business regions.

 

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