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Internal Market: Norwegian nationality and residence requirements are in breach of the EEA Agreement

12.10.2016

PR(16)44 

EN  |   NO

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) concluded today that Norway is in breach of the EEA Agreement by requiring people in corporate leadership and management to be of EEA nationality and have an EEA residence.

ESA is of the opinion that a general requirement of EEA nationality and residence constitutes an obstacle to companies' freedom of establishment under EEA law.

By maintaining these rules, Norway places a restriction on companies of other EEA States to transfer their central administration to Norway. If they do not fulfil the conditions, their only course of action would be to alter the structure of their present management or of their board members. The requirement also places a restriction on companies of other EEA States wishing to pursue activities in Norway through agencies, branches or subsidiaries, as they may not choose the management freely and appoint the people they prefer.

ESA sent a letter of formal notice to Norway on the matter in November 2015, and ESA is today taking the next step in the infringement procedure by adopting a reasoned opinion. Finally, ESA may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to comply within two months.

  

For further information, please contact:

Ásdís Ólafsdóttir
Communications Officer
tel. +32 2 286 18 97
mob. +32 490 57 69 49




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