Politics of Svalbard

Politics Of Svalbard

Politics of Svalbard

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The Spitsbergen Treaty recognises Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard. However, there are restrictions to Norway's rule in Svalbard as explained below in the Spitsbergen Treaty.

Treaties and Acts

Spitsbergen Treaty

Svalbard began as a territory free of a nation, with multiple people from different countries participating in industries including fishing, whaling, mining, tourism, and research. Having no nation left Svalbard largely free of any regulations or laws, though there were conflicts over the area due to whaling rights and issues of sovereignty between The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Denmark-Norway in the first half of the seventeenth century. However, by the twentieth century mine deposits were found in Svalbard and continual conflicts between miners and owners created a need for a government. By 9 February 1920 the Spitsbergen Treaty was signed in Paris during the Versailles negotiations after World War I. In this treaty, international diplomacy recognized Norwegian sovereignty (the Norwegian administration went in effect by 1925) as well as other principles relating to Svalbard. This includes:

  • Svalbard is part of Norway: Svalbard is completely controlled and part of the Kingdom of Norway. However, Norway's power over Svalbard is restricted to limitations listed below


  • Taxation: This allows taxes to be collected, but only enough to support Svalbard and the Svalbard government. This results in lower taxes than mainland Norway and the exclusion of......
  • ...

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