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LOVOGRETT-Juridisk forskning

Research Centre on the European Dimension of Norwegian Law

Alternative title: Senter for forskning på norsk retts europeiske dimensjon

Awarded: NOK 21.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2023 - 2028

Funding received from:


The EEA Agreement forms the basis for Norway’s participation in the EU's internal market. The main purpose of the internal market is to ensure the free movement of goods, services, people and capital. In order to realize this purpose, common European rules are needed. After 70 years of legal development, the EU's institutions have created a comprehensive European regulatory framework, which Norway is obliged to implement nationally according to the EEA Agreement. The Research Centre on the European dimension of Norwegian law (EurNorLaw) studies the challenges of implementing European legislation in Norwegian law. The Centre concentrates on three types of challenges. Firstly, the center maps the challenges of discovering the EEA dimension. One of the reasons behind the so-called NAV scandal was that large groups of lawyers completely overlooked the significance of EEA law's rules on free movement for the right to refuse social security recipients to travel abroad. The next group of challenges relates to the interpretation and application of EEA law. Partly, it is challenging to interpret and apply common European regulations that exist in 24 different language versions, and partly the special features of the EEA Agreement contribute to further complicating the interpretation. The centre will survey these challenges, as well as propose methods and procedures that can contribute to more correct interpretations. Thirdly, the centre analyzes the challenges of handling tensions between national regulations and EEA law. Such tensions shall in principle be eliminated when new European rules are to be implemented in Norwegian law. However, if relevant European legislation is either overlooked or misinterpreted, the tensions will remain, and will have to be handled by legal practitioners afterwards. The analysis of how such tensions can be avoided and handled will, among other things, involve assessing how European regulations can best be implemented in Norwegian law.

The proposed Centre, EurNorLaw, will analyse three main challenges to implement EEA law into Norwegian law: 1) Discovering the EEA dimension in law; 2) Interpreting and applying EEA law; 3) Addressing potential tensions between EEA law and domestic law. These main challenges will be analysed across various fields of law to develop general insights applicable to the legal system as a whole – notably social security law, labour and non-discrimination law, immigration law, environmental and natural resources law, and data and AI law. Moreover, general administrative law applies across most of these fields of law. Over time, EurNorLaw will include additional fields, ensuring that EEA law is integrated wherever relevant. We draw on social science theory and methodology to investigate underlying reasons for ignoring or misinterpreting EEA law. Legal and political theory will contribute to address the partially conflicting values of democratic accountability, transparency, loyalty to EEA law, and the rule of law. The insights gained from the research will be actively used in teaching of law students and further education for legal professionals. The Centre will be a powerhouse for legal research, legal training and life-long education, providing scientifically based knowledge to the legal professional and academic society in general and the public administration in Norway and other stakeholders in particular.

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Funding scheme:

LOVOGRETT-Juridisk forskning

Funding Sources