Norway and the Netherlands aim for financial stability

Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen has said that economic and financial stability in the European Union is vital not only for member states but also for neighbouring countries such as Norway. His remarks came at the end of his talks in Oslo with Sigbjørn Johnsen, the Norwegian Minister of Finance.

The Netherlands is working to strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact as a guarantee of stability in the eurozone. Although Norway is not a member of the EU, it depends heavily on the European market for its exports and is concerned about the repercussions of the euro’s fluctuating exchange rate.

Mr Verhagen said that the eurozone countries have taken rapid joint action to stabilise the situation. But he stressed that reforms are still needed in the Netherlands and other EU countries. The two ministers spoke of the need for reforms in order to maintain the pension and social security systems at an affordable level.

Mr Verhagen is accompanying [HM] Queen Beatrix on her State visit to Norway, which started today. The visit, which is taking place at the invitation of King Harald and Queen Sonja, is confirmation of the excellent relations between both countries.

The ministers’ discussions included cooperation on energy. The Netherlands and Norway are already connected by a submarine high-voltage cable through which Norway delivers green energy in the daytime and the Netherlands exports cheaper electricity at night.