The Kingdom of Norway's Country Analysis
Norway is one of the most developed countries in Europe. Although they are not apart of the European Union, their economy has bloomed due to good growth in the export markets and petroleum investments along with public sector demand and low-interest rates. Because they are the world's fifth largest exporter of oil and gas, this contributes to about a third of their revenue. Their good growth has also had a positive effect on other parts of the economy such as heavy engineering and shipbuilding. The standard of living is higher than usual and the country congratulates themselves on having a 100% literacy rate. Although a fairly wealthy country, it is facing several problems. Examples would be the dramatic demographic transition to a more elderly population, the increase of asylum seekers and immigrants, the slightly increasing unemployment rate, and the changes in climate (Norway: Country Analysis, 2008).
These problems have been major issues discussed in the recent election. In the past, the government focused on increasing health, education, and welfare. It also focused on Norway reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and making it a carbon-neutral country by 2030. However, according to the newly reelected left leaning prime minister, Jen Stoltenberg, somethings will change. Although the previously mentioned are still important and will still be stressed, the government will now focus on other things such as environmental developments, unemployment rates, and asylum policies for the following four years. Stoltenberg stated that he would not make any changes to their economic policies and that it is his intent carry over the policies that have kept their unemployment rate low; the lowest in Europe despite the financial crisis. He ended by stating the government would tighten immigration laws since there has been an increase in asylum seekers (Macdougall 2009).
According to the New York Times (2009), immigration has increased extremely since the 1970s. When Norway first received the independence from Sweden in 1905, the country was known for its emigrations, people leaving away from the country. However, when Fridtjof Nansen became the High Commissioner for Refugees in the League of Nations (now known as the United Nations), Norway developed a reputation of humanitarianism. This is when natives began moving back and settling into Norway; only bring a few nonnative. In the 1960's, the economy bloomed and there was a need for workers. People from various countries came into work but when the job was complete, they never left. This increase immigration levels since more people were migrating to where their families were. By 1975 there were so many immigrants entering the country that the government enforced an “immigration stop” restricting people to move into Norway. The Immigration Act of 1988 again allowed immigrants to enter on certain conditions. (Cooper, 2005).
Most of the recent immigrants...