Nuclear complaint to EU?!

VG august 2006: Atomklage til EU-kommisjonen

I have a page from the Norwegian tabloid VG here, from August 2006. The boss of the local electricity company Bergen Energi is threatening to take the Norwegian state to the EU comission because it refused to give him a license for building a nuclear power station in Norway. A lawyer and expert chimes in to say it is "an amusing idea"!

Hey Bill Schelderup, what energy source we want to use in this country is definitely a political question, and we want it decided through debate in newspapers, society, and parliament. How come you can run Bergen Energi if you haven't understood that?

It's a bit slow that way, but that is a feature and not a bug: we have a slow and thorough process in place to make sure the debate unfolds and that many people are heard. This is a process we like to call "democratic".

Travelling down to Brussels with some technocratic argument might be a shortcut, but not a very democracy-minded approach. At least you give us a text book example of what's wrong with the EU: this case shows how special interests can use EU's focus on free trade to re-focus an issue, from a general interest topic to a "technical trade barrier problem". That means rather than a wide and general political debate we get lawyers and lobbyists working their magic behind closed doors at the EU courts. "An amusing idea"? Well, personally I'm not at all amused by the thought of bureaucrats in Brussels rewriting Norwegian laws.

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