The government chaired by Odvor Nordli, who in the office of prime minister was replaced for health reasons (Jan. 1981) by Gro Harlem Brundtland from the left wing of the Labor Party, was troubled by problems of foreign policy, in particular by questions relating to Norway’s position in NATO. In fact, while not questioning the permanence in the Atlantic Alliance, the Norway had placed over the years increasing limits to the type of military presence of the Alliance, not allowing the installation of military bases or nuclear weapons depots. The extreme left and part of the Labor Party had taken increasingly radical positions, such as that in favor of the creation of a nuclear-free Nordic zone.
According to smber, the elections of September 1981 marked a defeat for the Labor Party, which lost ten seats, and a clear affirmation of the Conservative Party and the Progress Party. Conservatives, who had campaigned in favor of reducing state intervention and taxation, for greater private participation in research and exploitation of North Sea energy resources, formed a minority government in October 1981., chaired by K. Willoch. The government, of which the Center Party and the Christian Party joined in June 1983, launched an austerity program, which succeeded in reducing inflation, and in foreign policy took an attitude of clear support for NATO, even at the cost. of internal contrasts and tensions, Pershing and Cruise in Europe, when he threatened to resign if Parliament did not vote in favor, and won approval with a single vote (November 1983). K. Willoch remained in office even after the elections of September 1985, which gave the ruling coalition a narrow victory. Held in a climate of heated confrontation between Labor and Conservatives, especially on issues relating to social welfare, but also on the traditional theme of relations with NATO, the elections registered an advance of the socialist parties, while the government coalition only got one more seat than the left. The choices of the Progress Party, which had lost two of its four seats in the electoral consultation, thus became extremely important in parliamentary votes.
In April 1986, the largest strike wave since 1931 involved the majority of industrial sectors with demands for wage increases and a reduction in working hours. In May 1986, the government resigned after its proposal to raise taxes on petroleum products was rejected by Parliament (April 30). The proposal was part of a package of austerity measures aimed at countering the effects on the Norwegian economy of the drastic fall in the international price of crude oil, which had already forced the government to cut its production. Since the Constitution does not allow the dissolution of Parliament before the deadline, the task of forming the new government was entrusted to GH Brundtland who created a Labor minority cabinet. The government devalued the crown and launched a series of measures to increase the competitiveness of exports, reduce internal consumption and stimulate non-oil production. On the international level, an agreement was reached on fishing and mining rights with Iceland (1980-81), while relations with the Soviet Union were characterized by a growing state of tension both regarding the use of oil resources. of the Barents Sea, both in relation to the Chernobyl accident, which caused the contamination of a large area north-east of the country. A decisive improvement in relations was recorded starting from the end of the Eighties and was concretely realized in a series of collaboration agreements. Problems of environmental protection negatively affected relations with the United Kingdom.
The elections of September 1989 profoundly changed the composition of Parliament, altering the traditional political balance. In fact, there was a sharp decline in the Labor and Conservatives, who lost eight and thirteen seats respectively, and a success for the Left Socialists (which went from six to seventeen seats) and especially the progressives, who won twenty-two seats, after having conducted a campaign. election centered on the need to reduce state intervention in all sectors. On October 16, 1989, a center-right coalition led by JP Syse and composed of the Conservative Party, the Christian Party and the Center Party was formed. Strong internal contrasts marked the new government team began its activity and led it to the crisis and resignation within a year (October 29, 1990). The disputes essentially centered on two issues: that of relations with the European Economic Community, for the creation of a common economic area between the EEC and the EFTA, and that of the possible entry of foreign companies into Norway. Above all, the Center Party, traditionally opposed to openings towards the EEC, opposed any relaxation of the protectionist policy, particularly in the agricultural sector. On November 3, 1990, a minority cabinet was formed, chaired once again by Labor Brundtland, which indicated among its priority commitments the reduction of unemployment, which has reached a record rate of 8%, and environmental protection. The new government resumed contacts with the EEC with which it began formal talks in April 1993. Relations with the EEC dominated the electoral campaign for the legislative elections of 13 September 1993, which marked the simultaneous affirmation of the Europeanist Brundtland Labor and the Party center (from 6.5% to 18.6%), declared hostile to European integration. In the electoral round, the conservatives registered a sharp defeat.
Meanwhile, on January 23, 1991, Harald v had ascended the throne, succeeding his father who died on the 17th of the same month. In May 1990, Parliament passed a constitutional amendment, which opened the succession to the throne to female descendants for those born after 1990.