here - Norway - the official site in Romania


here - Norway - the official site in Romania
Syttende Mai:
Hipp Hurra for Norge!
Hipp Hurra for Norge! Today is Syttende Mai,
Norway's Constitution Day. On the 17th May 1814
Norway's Constitution was signed, marking the country's birth as an independent nation. To this day Norway
lays claim to the world's second oldest constitution in
continual force, and every year the 17th May is proudly
celebrated across the country.
The Norwegian Parliament, known as Storting, held
the first May 17 celebrations in 1836. From that point
onwards, it was regarded as the National Day.
From 1906 onwards, the Norwegian Royal Family
has gathered on the balcony of the Royal Palace in Oslo,
Norway’s capital city, to wave to the marching children
on Constitution Day each year.
The first children's parade was held in 1870.
Constitution Day celebrations follow a traditional
Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu:
Romania and the Kingdom of Norway
enjoy special relations based on a close
political dialogue both as NATO allies
and partners within the EEA
On the occasion of the celebration of
the National Day of the Kingdom of
Norway, I have the great pleasure of conveying to our Norwegian partners and
friends our warmest congratulations and
wishes of success and prosperity.
Romania and the Kingdom of
Norway enjoy special relations, strengthened by a significant multi-level collaboration and based on tight economic cooperation and a close political dialogue,
both as NATO allies, and partners within
the European Economic Area.
The month of May has a special significance for Romanian-Norwegian bilateral relations, as it represents the anniversary month of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
continued on page 7
pattern of joyous and enthousiastic parades involving
schools, high school graduates, bands, and other members and organizations within the local community.
There are many games, activities and social gatherings
on this day. Many Norwegians and people with
Norwegian ancestry also celebrate the day in different
countries around the world.
continued on page 7
H.E. Tove Bruvik Westberg Ambassador of Norway to Romania:
Norway celebrates Constitution Day,
further enhancing bilateral relations
with Romania
Last year Norway celebrated the bicentenary of its constitution, which was adopted on
17 May 1814. At the start of 1814 Norway
was part of the absolute monarchy DenmarkNorway. By the end of the year Norway had
entered into a union with Sweden.
In between, Norwegians had mobilized
and drawn up one of the world’s most
democratic constitutions - and elected their
own king. 1814 was hailed as ‘the year of
miracles’. Sovereignty of the people, the
separation of powers, the independence of
the political institutions and the rights of
the individual were to be basis for the
nation. Last year a large number of events,
both in Norway and abroad, debated the
value of this historic and yet very much
alive document and what it means for a
democratic society. Also here in Romania.
continued on page 7
Norway celebrates Constitution Day, further
enhancing bilateral relations with Romania
continued from page 6
With the constitution of 1814, a
new era was in the making. It laid the
foundation for the birth of modern
Norway. Moreover, it gave the direction
for the years to come. This is what we
However, every 17 May gives us
another possibility and an obligation to
reflect and to discuss. About what kind
of society do we want, which values do
we cherish, and how do we protect
It took many years before all citizens had the same rights to participate
fully in democratic institutions in
Norway. However, throughout the
years the direction has been clear, but
also given Norway new tasks, to
include a more multicultural and
diverse population.
Another celebration has taken place
in many countries this year.
On 8 May we celebrated 70 years
since the end of World War two in
Europe. Norway and other occupied
countries became free again. Norway
had been under Nazi occupation for
five long years. The occupation of
Norway and many other European
countries was indeed a struggle about
the populations’ minds and attitudes. A
fascist dictatorship against freedom,
democracy and the right to self-determination. In Norway symbolized by
Hitler’s local governor, Josef Terboven,
setting up his administration in the
very Parliament building in Oslo.
Dictatorship replaced democracy.
The struggle in 1814 for the right
to our own constitution and the resistance against a foreign power and the
fascist dictatorship during the years of
1940-1945 have elements in common:
Individuals knowing their rights and
their values. Fighting for these values
and fighting for the common rights.
There shall be freedom of expression. There shall be free and fair elections. The citizens of the country make
the laws and they shall live by the law.
Everybody is equal to the law. There
shall be an equal balance and independence between the state institutions.
The powers of the state shall be controlled. Those who govern shall be
Yes, each year we do remind ourselves about these principles. They are
utterly important.
Not only does 17 May matter,
equally important is what takes place
between each years’ festivities.
On 1 June this year, a government
committee will present an extensive
work documenting injustice towards
the Roma population in Norway, from
the end of the 19th century and until
today. Head of the committee is Knut
Vollebæk, former foreign minister of
Commissioner on National Minorities
Besides documenting the history, the
committee is mandated to suggest how
further reconciliation and justice can
take place between minorities and the
greater society.
It is hard work to build a democra-
cy with a high degree of equality. It
implies a willingness to acknowledge
that we are all the same, independent of
ethnic origin, color, family background
or wealth. It implies willingness to
share the resources. It implies willingness to pay ones taxes to finance what is
takes to build the common good. It
implies willingness to acknowledge the
past and to have visions for the future.
Yet, it is a solid basis for a stable and
well-functioning nation.
The values we try to live by are also
the values on which we build our bilateral relations with other countries.
Norway has, through the EEA agreement, close economic relations with
Europe, including Romania. Through
the EEA and Norway Grants, our two
countries work together to reduce
social inequality in Romania, and further strengthen the bilateral relations.
In almost all areas of society – from justice, green industry innovation, environment, research, civil society, health
and culture – institutions and individuals in both countries are working
together. Results are achieved, the
mutual knowledge and respect
strengthened, and bilateral relations
deepened. In addition comes
Norwegian private businesses investing
in and cooperating with Romania.
On this day of celebration I would
like express my sincere appreciation to
all those who contribute to the
strengthening of our bilateral relations.
Syttende Mai:
Hipp Hurra for Norge!
continued from page 6
Syttende Mai is typically characterised by huge
colourful street parades of marching school bands
and lots and lots of flag waving. A common greeting heard on the streets is "gratulerer med dagen",
or "happy birthday."
Oslo is obviously home to the largest parades,
and every year over a hundred schools walk down
the capital's famous Karl Johans Gate and past the
Royal Palace, where the Royal Family waves to the
crowds from the balcony. Marching bands play and
some 60 000 children from more than 100 schools
sing patriotic lyrics. The highlight of the march is
when children pass the Royal Palace and exchange
waves and greetings with the Royal Family.
Syttende Mai is also a special occasions for
Norwegians to dress up in honour of the day with
his best suit or a national costume called a Bunad
and carry a flag with the Norwegian colours. The
beauty of this gathering is that Bunads, these thick
woollen outfits vary in style and in appearance
(colours and shapes) according to different regions
of the country .They may feature beautiful flower
motifs, stripes and pleats. Elaborate embroidery can
be used on many different parts of the costume,
including bonnets, belts, aprons, skirts, shirts, and
However, children are the happiest of the world
as they can have as many pølser (hotdog), ice-cream
and brus (soda) as they want on that day!
Romania and the Kingdom of Norway enjoy special relations based on a close
political dialogue both as NATO allies and partners within the EEA
continued from page 6
Since May 1917, our countries’ bilateral relations have
grown stronger through diplomacy and cooperation. Norway has
been a reliable partner and a
strong supporter of Romania
during its NATO integration
In recent times, the bilateral
dialogue has continued at a very
intense pace. Contacts have multiplied and frequent visits at various levels have taken place. I was
very pleased to welcome the
Minister and Chief of Staff at the
Office of the Prime Minister of
the Kingdom of Norway, responsible for EEA and EU Affairs at
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Vidar Helgesen, to
Bucharest, on 15 April. Similarly,
my recent official visit to Oslo,
between 26 and 27 April, on the
invitation of my counterpart
Børge Brende, was an excellent
opportunity to discuss new ways
of expanding and deepening the
substantial political dialogue
between our countries. Against
this background we are currently
looking at expanding and deepening our relations at the political
and governmental level. We are
also paying special attention to
cooperation in areas such as EEA
and Norwegian Grants, economy,
business, academic and civil society.
Recent figures in trade development confirm a constantly
growing economic relationship.
At the end of last year, our bilateral trade registered 675 million
Euros, of which the value of
exports amounted to 575.4 million, and the value of imports to
100.5 million. Romania is proving attractive to Norwegian
investors, with 339 Norwegian
capital companies functioning
here at the beginning of 2015.
I would also like to mention
the important contribution of
cultural relations in the context
of further developing our bilateral relations. I would like to
thank the Norwegian authorities,
as well as the Norwegian people
for their openness towards the
Romanian nationals living and
working in this beautiful country
and express my strong belief that
the Romanian community contributes to the well-being of
Norwegian society.
This is also the case for the
impact which Norwegian cultural
personalities have on the
Romanian public that has a great
deal of respect and admiration for
the literature and art of the land
of fjords.
Moreover, I believe that this
anniversary day should also
remind us, in Romania, that the
Constitution of the Kingdom of
Norway, signed in 1814, is the
Constitution in the world still in
use. It serves as a prevailing example of unity, independence, freedom, equality, and most importantly,
Constitution has also proven to
be a strong document in the
fields of human rights and freedom of speech.
Romania shares the joy of this
historic date - 17 May - and wishes the Kingdom of Norway and
the Norwegian people a happy
National Day once again!

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