Norwegian Intellectuals and Europe*
John Erik Fossum and Cathrine Holst discuss their approach in relation to three conceptions of the European Union: as a problem‐solving entity; as a value community; and as a rights‐based Union. The great majority of Norwegian public intellectuals frown at the notion of Europe as a democratic anchor, and instead insist that the EU is a democratic curse, which Norway should stay away from. The European project and European governance are seen to have profoundly negative effects on the role of politics, autonomy, agency, sovereignty and republican ideals. The same can be said of how Norwegian public intellectuals consider the relationship between Europe‐as‐values and Europe‐as‐prosperity. There is a strongly held conviction that Europe is a “rich man's club”, a conviction that has remained unscathed throughout the last two bouts of EU enlargement because of a subtle shift to Europe‐as‐a‐businessman's club, and fountain of all‐permeating neo‐liberal economics.
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