In the fall of 2019, the Board of NWW started to discuss a possible merger with the Norway-America Association. The purpose is to go forward as one strong organization, focusing on transatlantic cooperation.
NWW and NORAM are sister organizations that have cooperated closely for more than 100 years. We have a common Secretary general and common office space in Rådhusgaten in Oslo. The merger is up for vote at the Annual Meeting of both NWW and NORAM on Monday, June 8.
Our financial situation is strained
NWW has operated with a deficit over a long period of time. Despite several strategic initiatives, such as increased digitalisation, reduced staff and advocating for dual citizenship, our numbers are still in red. Our human resources is now down to a minimum, and we struggle to continue our operations without injecting new capital.
An important job is done
In 2016, NWW took on a whole new role as we engaged in changing the Norwegian Citizenship Act to allow dual citizenship. This has been our main priority for the past four years. Working closely with the lawmakers and other stakeholders, this initiative has strengthened the democratic rights of our members. From January of this year, Norway allows dual citizenships. This is a great victory and we are celebrating with you! The new law marks the end of an important milestone.
Many people have supported our work on dual citizenship, with a large number of followers in social media. Unfortunately, most are “free riders” who do not support us with membership. The declining membership trend has therefore continued.
NWW seeks new opportunities together with NORAM
The new organization will be named Norway-America Association, and its purpose will be to promote transatlantic cooperation through academic and cultural exchange, ensuring lifelong learning.
Objectives of the new organization is to support:
Students under 18 – by promoting the Norwegian language, culture and outdoor life through Norgesskolen, our summer school for children abroad with Norwegian connections.
University Students – by continuing to provide scholarships from the Norway-America Foundation and partners in the United States, to provide free guidance on opportunities to study in North-America and Norway, and to provide relevant information to students and school counselors.
Alumni – by establishing new forums and networks promoting lifelong learning.
Networking – by strengthening and developing our network in North-America, including members and alumni, as well as organizations and universities we are partnering with.
We continue to serve as a member organization
The Norway-America Association will continue to serve as a member organization. Our existing members and anyone with an interest in transatlantic cooperation are welcome. All current members will continue to be members of the merged organization.
NWW and NORAM both have most of their members based in the US. It is therefore natural that the new organization has a transatlantic focus, building on already established networks and partnerships The new organization will craft a new visionary strategy, while at the same time preserve the history of both organizations, for example to continue to partner with the Norwegian Emigrant Museum.