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25th Anniversay of the Sami parliament

Op-ed: The 25th anniversary of the Sami parliament

Professor Per Selle argues in an op-ed in newspaper Nordlys that the Sami parliament has developed into an important actor in Norwegian politics and government. The op-ed is written together with Torvald Falch, senior advisor to the Sami parliament.

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The Sami parliament, 2009-2013.
Photo:
The Sami parliament

Government partner and counter-part

Professor Per Selle discusses the historical development of Sametinget, the parliament of the Norwegian Sami people, as the institutions celebrates its 25th anniversary. In the op-ed, which is written together with Torvald Falch, a senior advisor to the Sami parliament, Selle and Falch write that the Sami parliament is at once both an executive agency that deals with Sami issues as well as a representative policy-developing institution.

The Sami parliament is involved in all governmental decision-making that affects the Sami people. In this process the Sami parliament is both a partner of and a counter-part to the Norwegian government, the authors argue.

 

- Its dominant position a cause for concern

Selle and Falch note that the process of increasing self-government for the Sami people also raises several concerns, including the integration of Sami civil society into the parliament itself. This is a concern insofar as it can undermine the Sami civil society’s function as an external check on the parliament.

- A well-functioning and independent Sami parliament requires an active civil society that monitors it and puts pressure on it, the authors argue.

 

Read the op-ed here.