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PR(07)35: The regime of ownership of waterfalls in Norway


In a decision of 26 June this year the EFTA Court declared that the current law on acquisition of waterfalls in Norway infringes the EEA Agreement as the law discriminates between Norwegian public undertakings, on the one hand, and private undertakings and undertakings established in other EEA countries, on the other hand.

Following the decision of the Court, the Norwegian Government initiated a dialogue with the Authority with the aim of identifying the measures to be taken to bring the ownership regime into compliance with the EEA Agreement.

Today the Government has adopted a decision on the future regime for ownership of waterfalls.

In his presentation of the decision in a press conference this morning, the Minister for Oil and Energy made comments that could be interpreted as implying that the Authority has signalled to the Government that the steps taken today would remove the current violation of EEA law.

In order to avoid any misunderstandings, the Authority would like to make clear that it has not indicated in the dialogue with the Norwegian authorities that a solution such as the one presented today would address all the modifications to the law of the acquisition of waterfalls that are necessary in order to comply with the judgment of the EFTA Court and the EEA Agreement.

The Authority will now proceed to study the rules enacted today and looks forward to receiving the supplementary provisions that the Government plans to present.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Niels Fenger
Director of Legal & Executive Affairs,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30

10 August 2007

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