Norway has twice rejected membership in the European Union. They are a founding member of NATO and the UN. Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world (in August 2009 Norway's Government Pension Fund announced that it owned 1% of all the stocks in the world).
Norway was an early adopter of women's rights, minority rights, and LGBT rights. The death penalty was abolished in 1902, and Norway has the lowest homicide rate in the world. A Gallup poll revealed that for 80% of Norway's citizens religion does not occupy an important place in their life, making Norway one of the most secular countries in the world.