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Push and pull over EU membership

European Union Commissioner Chris Patten, the former British governor of Hong Kong, encouraged Norwegian business leaders to push for EU membership, warning them not to accept a "half in, half out" position for Norway. Mr. Patten spoke at the annual conference of the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry. He was followed at the podium by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Mr. Stoltenberg also favours EU membership but said the timing was wrong for a new debate in Norway. "The EEA (European Economic Area) agreement, special agreements on specific issues and freedom of action are our strategy now," he said.