Four months after the last election, Norway finally has a new minority government. Here’s what its newly launched platform means for Norwegians living abroad.
Sunday January 14, the new coalition government launched its political agenda for the next four years. The agreement between the Conservatives, Progress Party and Liberal Party means several changes for Norwegians living abroad:
The new government has pledged to continue the political process to open up for dual citizenship. A proposal is already out on departmental hearing, and there is a clear majority for such a law in the Storting (parliament). It is very likely that the policy will be passed in parliament within the next four years. Norwegians Worldwide will continue to put pressure on the government to get the law passed as quickly as possible.
That said, it will also become harder for foreigners to qualify for a Norwegian citizenship, extending the qualification time of residence in Norway from seven to eight years.
The government has proposed a further tightening of rules on family reunions in Norway. The agreement states that family immigration has to be based on self-sufficiency.
3) Assistance and welfare
The coalition parties want to secure assistance and good consular services to Norwegians abroad. However, there’s also an ambition to limit the export of welfare money, by adjusting the payments for local purchasing power abroad. This could result in that some Norwegians living in the EU could have their welfare benefits reduced.
4) New Nordic ID
For Norwegians living in other Nordic countries, the continued work toward a common Nordic ID system, could solve some practical challenges.
The new government has promised to review the situation of students abroad through a white paper. This report will give Norwegian students abroad the opportunity to point at challenges and flaws in the current system. Also, the gradual phasing in of an extra month of study grants will continue.
The coalition government has committed to keep the good conditions of Sjømannskirken (Norwegian Church Abroad).
Read the full declaration of the new government (in Norwegian) here: https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/e4c3cfd7e4d4458fa8d3d2bb1e43bcbb/plattform.pdf