Bjørnar Moxnes has been leader of the Red Party since 2012. Under Moxnes the party has been through a renewal process, with younger party leadership and a revision of the party program. By 2015, Red had the highest proportion of female candidates and the second highest number of young candidates.
Moxnes is against Norwegian membership of the EU, and wants to terminate the EEA agreement in favour of a trade agreement. He regards the current agreement as basically undemocratic, since the Norwegian people have never been able to express their opinion on the EEA agreement in a referendum. In an interview with E24 he commented: “This is a very special agreement. There are no other trade agreements that imply that one party must introduce all the rules that the other party chooses to introduce. The EU binds us to market liberalism that promotes privatization and threatens the Norwegian model”.
Moxnes’ immigration policies are regarded as controversial in the context of Norwegian politics. He claims that Norway’s asylum policy is far too strict, and argues for removing all obstacles facing asylum seekers coming to Norway. He would like to prevent the government from being able to deprive anybody of refugee status; to change the citizenship act so that citizenship cannot be revoked; to ensure that children’s rights are never trumped by so-called “immigration policy considerations”; to give asylum seekers free legal aid, lawful asylum proceedings and the opportunity to complain about their treatment; to ensure that asylum cases are never summarily processed at the Norwegian border; to withdraw Norway from the Schengen Agreement and the Dublin Convention; and to enable asylum seekers who have been refused entry to apply for a residence permit as a job seeker in line with job seekers from other non-EEA countries.
With regard to defence policy, Moxnes is in favour of withdrawing from NATO as he argues that NATO makes Norway more vulnerable to attacks, and the world less safe. He claims that NATO membership allies Norway to undesirable regimes such as the Turkey of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the USA of Donald Trump. He would prefer Norway to seek defence cooperation with its Nordic neighbours.
The Red Party actively supports the efforts of others against oppression, from the Palestinians’ struggle against occupation or American workers’ struggle against welfare cuts. They are committed to developing cooperation with Palestine, Western Sahara and Kurdistan, and to promote Norwegian measures against occupation and oppression policies in these areas. This includes an economic, academic and cultural boycott of Israel. In the case of Western Sahara, Moxnes supports the Sahrawis’ fight for a referendum and freedom.
Moxnes is opposed to further expansion of Norwegian oil production, and has argued for better regulation of the waste products of the mining industry.
On trade agreements, Moxnes is in favour of more transparency across all international agreements, and is particularly sceptical towards TiSA and the EEC. As regards Norway’s arms industry, Moxnes is in favour of an end-user declaration to avoid Norwegian weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists.
In response to our standard questions, Bjørnar Moxnes has provided the following answers:
Global Vote: “If you are elected, what will you do for the rest of us, around the world?”
BM: "The Red Party believes in a solidary society, where people and environment comes before profit, democracy before concentration of power, and disarmament before militarization and warmongering.
Solidarity is an active commitment to support popular struggles for national, social and democratic rights, sovereignty and self-determination. It is also a commitment to stand up against oppression and occupation.
Environment before profit is a commitment to take climate change seriously. We need to phase out oil production regardless of future potential profit. We have to change the mandate of our investment fund: rather than profiting from climate, environmental and social hazardous industries, it should support the transition to a green economy nationally and globally. We must take our international climate commitments seriously.
Cooperation before capitalist competition is a commitment to solidarity with popular and workers struggle for their rights; establish fair agreements for trade and knowledge-exchange that are not dictated by multinational companies; and, to work for an international binding treaty for multinational corporations.
Democracy before concentration of power is a commitment to openness on political decision-making and spending, securing democratic control over resources and services. Everyone affected by decisions should be able to have an opinion on these, both on national level, as well as in bi- and multilateral organizations and negotiations, such as free trade agreements.
Finally, we need to work for disarmament and dialogue over militarization and war. This implies an active commitment against oppression and violence, for peaceful resolution of conflict, and for securing and guaranteeing the international rights-framework."
Global Vote: “What is your vision for your country’s role in the world?”
BM: "Our main role internationally to be an active contributor to peace, disarmament, long-term reconstruction after conflict, and work actively to solve the great challenges the world faces, such as climate change and resource management.
To achieve this, we need to assume an independent position in global foreign policies.
This requires that [we] leave NATO, work for its dissolution, and actively for disarmament and dialogue between USA, Russia, and other world powers. We’ll oppose economic support to and participation in aggressive wars “out of area”, and the world powers' interventionist politics. International participation in peace-keeping missions should only take place where and when all parties accept their presence.
We must stop [the] arms trade to undemocratic regimes and areas in war and conflict, and demand an end-user declaration for all arms trade from Norway and by Norwegian companies. Finally, we must sign the international treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.
We will be active defenders of the UN charter and international human rights conventions, but also oppose UN resolutions when they violate the same rights, as was the case in the war against Libya.
Disarmament is good anti-war policy, but it is also good economic policy, both as a rupture with the capitalist logic of conflict, but also because of the huge economic resources associated with the ongoing armament and warmongering.
An active peace policy is a good feminist policy. Women are usually most affected by war and conflict and the least involved in war armament.
An active peace policy is also good climate policy. The military and military exercises are extremely hazardous to the climate, and have a negative short and long term impact on health and the environment.
Finally, an active peace policy is good development policy because it is necessary to secure human rights and sustainable development, and to tackle the challenges the world faces of inequality, resource management and climate change."