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EFTA Council discusses expanding free trade network
The EFTA Council met on 16 May for their third meeting in 2012 under the chairmanship of Switzerland. The Council discussed free trade relations with several countries outside the European Union including the ongoing negotiations with the Custom Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and recent meetings under EFTA’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with Canada and Egypt. The Council also prepared the EFTA Summer Ministerial meeting in Switzerland.
EFTA's Annual Report for 2011 available
In 2011, a total of 373 new legal acts were incorporated into the EEA Agreement. Important additions include the Renewable Energy Directive, the new Social Security Regulation and the inclusion of aviation activities in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Also in 2011, Hong Kong China and Montenegro joined EFTA's expanding network of free trade partners. The EFTA States now have preferential free trade relations with 60 countries in Europe and the rest of the world, as well as with each other, meaning that 80% of EFTA’s merchandise trade is covered by preferential trading arrangements.
The EFTA Council: Working with the EU to train statisticians
The EFTA Council met for the second time this year on 22 March in Geneva under the Chairmanship of Switzerland. The Council adopted the EFTA-Eurostat Technical Cooperation Programme for 2012, approved amendments to the Vaduz Convention and reviewed free trade relations with a number of countries outside the EU.
Intense debate on certification of services
Can we afford to continue without cross-border recognition of certification of services or should we promote for example pan-European solutions? And what role should the standardisation of services play at national and European level? These topics were discussed at a workshop on the role of certification linked to standardisation that took place on 1 March 2012. The event was hosted by the EFTA Secretariat and Nordic Innovation in cooperation with the European Commission, CEN, ANEC and Normapme.
EFTA Council Chair outlines priorities for the first half of 2012
The EFTA Council in Geneva held its first meeting in 2012 on 15 February. Switzerland, holding the rotating Council Chair for the first six months of the year, presented its priorities. The Council also reviewed the latest negotiating round with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
EFTA Council reviews Ministerial meeting and discusses free trade relations
The EFTA Council met for the last time in 2011 on 8 December, where it reviewed the winter EFTA Ministerial meeting held on 14 November in Geneva and discussed free trade relations with countries outside the European Union.
Ivo Kaufmann, new Deputy Secretary-General in Geneva
At their meeting on 14 November 2011, EFTA Ministers appointed Mr Ivo Kaufmann of Switzerland as Deputy Secretary-General at EFTA’s Geneva office from 1 December. Mr Kaufmann will head the Association’s Trade Relations Division which supports the four Member States in the negotiation and management of their free trade agreements with countries outside the European Union.
EFTA Ministerial meeting, Geneva, Switzerland, 14 November 2011
On 14 November 2011, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held a Ministerial Meeting in Geneva under the Chairmanship of Mr Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway. Ministers from the four EFTA Member States and Montenegro signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Together with Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama, the EFTA Ministers announced the start of free trade negotiations.
EFTA and EU Ministers of Finance and Economy meet in Brussels
The annual meeting of EFTA and EU Ministers of Finance and Economy (the “EFTA ECOFIN”) took place on 8 November 2011 in Brussels. The item on the agenda was Ensuring Financial Sector Stability. The EFTA ECOFIN meeting was preceded by an internal meeting of the EFTA Ministers.
EFTA Council prepares for winter Ministerial meeting in Geneva
On 27 October, the EFTA Council in Geneva discussed preparations for the meeting of the EFTA Ministers that will take place on 14 November under the chairmanship of Norway. The Council also approved a grant to the European Committee for Standardisation.