In 2004, Norway adopted ethical guidelines for GPFG investments, prohibiting investments in companies involved in various forms of arms production, environmental destruction, tobacco production, human rights violations, and « other particularly serious violations of basic ethical norms. » In March 2019, GON announced that companies ranked by index provider FTSE Russell in the subsector « 0533 Exploration & Production » in the sector « 0001 Oil & Gas » are no longer part of the GPFG portfolio. Current holdings in these companies will expire over time. Large energy companies that have invested in renewable and sustainable energy sources and oil and gas can continue to be included. The fund currently has more than 100 companies on its do-not-call list, at least 24 of which are U.S. companies. The ethical guidelines also highlight three priority areas related to sustainability: children`s rights, climate change and water management. The OECD also conducted a peer review of Norway in 2019: www.oecd.org/dac/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-norway-2019-75084277-en.htm – The scope of legislation and policy makes the EU a key factor in the development of Norwegian environmental policy. Norway is actively working to ensure the best possible decisions on environmental issues within the EU. The Norwegian legal system is characterised by an active legislator, with most areas of law being codified and promulgated, partly through some legislative cooperation with other Scandinavian countries. There is also a legislative tradition of legislating with vagueness and ambiguous language, leaving discretion to the government and its administration. An important source of interpretation is the purpose for which the legislation was adopted and its travaux préparatoires.
For general information on the political and economic environment in Norway, please click on the link to the U.S. Department of State`s website Countries and Regions. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted an economic survey for Norway in 2018: www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/oecd-economic-surveys-norway-2018_eco_surveys-nor-2018-e Norway is a modern and highly developed country with a small but very strong economy. GDP per capita is among the highest in the world, boosted by decades of success in the oil and gas sector and other world-class industries such as shipping, shipbuilding and aquaculture. Key industries are supported by a strong and growing professional services industry (finance, ICT, legal), and there are new opportunities in FinTech, Clean Technology, Medical Technology and Biotechnology. The close cooperation between industry and research institutes attracts international R&D activities and funding. Norwegian legislators and businesses welcome foreign investment as a policy issue. Norway is a safe and hassle-free place to do business, ranking 9th out of 190 countries in the World Bank`s 2019 Doing Business Index and 7th out of 180 in Transparency International`s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. Norway is politically stable, has strong protection of property rights and an effective legal system.
Productivity is well above the EU average. Links to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for general information on the political environment in the country. The transparency of the Norwegian regulatory system is generally the same as that of the EU. Norway is required to adopt EU directives under the EEA Agreement in the fields of social policy, consumer protection, environment, company law and statistics. Norway recognises secured shares in movable and immovable property. The system for registering ownership shares is recognized and reliable. Norway has an open and effective legal and judicial system that protects and facilitates the acquisition and transfer of property rights, including land, buildings and mortgages. The Complaints Body, an independent review body, provides suppliers with a cost-effective complaint procedure for bid disputes.
The board can issue « non-binding opinions » and review the legality of the contract in question. More serious disputes can be heard by the European Supervisory Authority (ESA) or the courts, but the decision-making process can be lengthy. The Norwegian legal system provides effective means of enforcing property and contractual rights. A new national security law, which entered into force on 1 January 2019, provides the legal basis for increased state control over foreign investment. Enforcement provisions are ongoing, including a comprehensive list of critical infrastructure, facilities and products to be covered by legislation and subsequent investment review procedures. – Environmental cooperation is part of the EEA Agreement and almost all EU environmental legislation is transposed into Norwegian law. Topics include environmental protection, water, air, chemicals, waste, environmental impact assessment and genetically modified organisms. The Petroleum Act of November 1996 (which replaces the Petroleum Act of 1985) establishes the legal basis for the granting of oil exploration rights, production blocks and monitoring activities by the Norwegian authorities.
The law covers state control over the exploration, production and transportation of oil. Extreme weather events are more frequent than before, sea levels are rising, and droughts and floods are more frequent. Air pollution alone kills 7 million people every year. Climate change and environmental degradation are destroying ecosystems with negative impacts on development, health and food production. Climate change is exacerbating humanitarian disasters, fuelling conflict and rendering some areas uninhabitable. It is essential that all countries do their part to prevent further loss and damage from the effects of climate change. This work can save lives and property and reduce the need for humanitarian assistance in the event of a disaster. The National Law Review reports on legal developments in Norway. Stories such as online cryptocurrency transactions, illegal dumping sanctions and countervailing activities, EU regulations, and international affairs are among the topics visitors can read online. And with the latest coverage available, visitors will always find the most up-to-date content when they visit the National Law Review. Internet piracy in Norway is facilitated by the high penetration of broadband internet, which makes peer-to-peer video downloads easy and common.
Groups that publish the first copies of new films on the Internet are active in the Norwegian market, and Norway has experienced « camcorder recording incidents » where films are illegally recorded in cinemas. Private organizations such as the Motion Picture Association are trying to raise awareness about Internet and video piracy, including through anti-piracy ads in cinemas. Norway is not included in the list of notable markets. In June 2005, Norway enacted legislation based on the 2001 EU Copyright Directive to combat Internet piracy, but subsequent court cases have shown that the law does not contain sufficient grounds for enforcement. The Norwegian government has since amended the Copyright Act, which entered into force in July 2013. The amended Act clarifies the procedure for accessing the identity of an infringer and provides for a mechanism for blocking websites. The positive developments on the enforcement side are complemented by the growing popularity of legal streaming alternatives such as Spotify, Netflix and HBO. A new national security law came into effect on January 1, 2019, providing the legal basis for increased government control over foreign investment due to national security concerns.
The Norwegian legal system is strong and trustworthy. The Norwegian legal system is also characterized by the doctrine of binding precedents, which, however, only applies to Supreme Court decisions. Since the early 1990s, the implementation of EU legislation based on the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) has influenced legal developments. The Norwegian legal system is similar to that of other Nordic countries, but does not consist of a single comprehensive civil code. Norwegian law is based on the principle of freedom of contract, which is subject to only limited restrictions. Oral or written contracts are usually binding on the parties. For a list of local lawyers, see norway.usembassy.gov/lawyers.html. Media ownership is regulated by the Media Ownership Act 1997 and the Norwegian Media Authority.
No party, whether domestic or foreign, may control more than 1/3 of the domestic market for newspapers, radio and/or television without a licence. National treatment shall be granted in accordance with Norway`s obligations under the EEA Agreement. The introduction and growing importance of new forms of media (including those originating from the Internet and mobile industries) have raised concerns that the existing national legal system (which is largely focused on print media) may be obsolete. Norwegian researchers on RV Dr. Fridtjof Nansen are involved in the important mapping of marine litter on the seabed, especially plastic waste, which causes serious environmental damage. The Norwegian Research and Development (R&D) tax incentive programme SkatteFUNN is a government programme to promote research and development in Norwegian trade and industry. Companies and corporations taxable in Norway can apply for tax relief. For more information, see: www.oecd.org/sti/RDTax%20Country%20Profiles%20-%20NOR.pdf – The EU is Norway`s closest partner in global climate policy. Norway and the EU have ratified the international Paris Agreement on climate change and, like the EU, Norway has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.