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Introduction: Two centuries of Viking raids into Europe tapered off following the adoption of Christianity by King Olav TRYGGVASON in 994. Conversion of the Norwegian kingdom occurred over the next several decades. In 1397, Norway was absorbed into a union with Denmark that lasted more than four centuries. In 1814, Norwegians resisted the cession of their country to Sweden and adopted a new constitution. Sweden then invaded Norway but agreed to let Norway keep its constitution in return for accepting the union under a Swedish king. Rising nationalism throughout the 19th century led to a 1905 referendum granting Norway independence. Although Norway...

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Political Overview: Norway is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy with legislative powers vested in the Storting (parliament). The Head of State is H.M. King Harald V, who acceded to the throne in 1991. The Storting is made up of 169 members directly elected for four-year terms by proportional representation. Parliamentary elections are mandatory every four years at specific dates. The next elections are scheduled to be held in 2013. A constitutional amendment passed by the Storting in February 2007, which took effect following the 14 September 2009 elections, means that the Storting now functions as a unicameral parliament, rather than ...

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People: Ethnic Norwegians speak a Germanic language. Northern Norway is also the traditional home of communities of Sami people who speak a non-Indo-European language. In recent years, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. There are 600,900 immigrants and 100,000 Norwegian-born persons with immigrant parents living ...

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International Relations: Norway has held two referenda on EU membership. In 1972, 53.5% voted against and in 1994 52.2% said no. Given differences of opinion, the three coalition partners are unlikely to raise the question of EU membership before the next general election. Norway does, however, participate in the EU's Single Market through the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. As an EEA Member, Norway implements EU Directives on trade and economic matters, and contributes financially to the EU’s structural and cohesion funds, but remains outside the Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies. Norway also takes part in police, judicial, visa and frontier ...

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