Full house at EFTA seminar on the EEA

Published 13-09-2018
Andri Lúthersson, Deputy Secretary-General, talked about Brexit implications for EEA and the EFTA States.
It was a full house at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels as more than 140 participants gathered for the seminar on the European Economic Area (EEA) on 13 September 2018.

The biannual seminar offers professionals, from both inside and outside the European Union, an introduction to how the EEA functions and how it extends participation in the EU’s Internal Market to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

“The EEA Agreement is quite a remarkable achievement. It has proven to be a long-lasting solution for citizens and businesses across the 31 EEA countries, including the three EFTA States,” Secretary-General Henri Gétaz said when welcoming the participants to the seminar.

Today’s seminar included presentations from the EFTA Secretariat, the EEA and Norway Grants (FMO), the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) and the EFTA Court on the day-to-day operation and management of the EEA Agreement.

Focusing on the market implications of the EEA Agreement, the second half of the seminar included sector specific break-out sessions addressing how GDPR was extended to the EEA EFTA States, participation of EFTA States in EU Programmes, and the possible implications of Brexit for the EEA.

One of the participants, Hugo van Randwyck, representing the Bruges Group in the UK, found the seminar very informative and helpful.

“This is my fourth visit here, and every time has been very helpful,” he said. “It’s a very friendly environment where people feel they can speak and ask questions, and I felt like there was a two-way discussion.”

Van Randwyck also said he thought EFTA had a lot to be proud of.

“I think EFTA is the premier league of world trade groupings and it is maybe a part of the culture not to brag, but it is not bragging, it is telling the truth,” said Van Randwyck.

EFTA would like to thank all the speakers and participants for making the seminar a success.

Links to the presentations can be found below:

Introduction to EFTA and EEA - Hege Marie Hoff

Functioning of the EEA Agreement and role of the Secretariat – Brit Helle

How EU law becomes EEA law – Kyrre Isaksen

How EEA law is interpreted – Olafur Einarsson

EEA and Norway Grants – Eva Thóra Karlsdóttir

Participation of EFTA States in EU Programmes – Egill Eyjólfsson

Brexit: Possible implications for the EEA – Andri Lúthersson

Photos from the Seminar can be found here.

 

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 13 September 2018