On 4 September 2014, 130 participants from both the public and private sectors met at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels for an introductory seminar on the European Economic Area (EEA). Representatives of the EFTA Secretariat, Financial Mechanism Office (FMO), EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) and EFTA Court gave presentations on the day-to-day operation and management of the EEA Agreement, including recent developments and challenges.
On 17 July 2014, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint comment to the European Commission's proposals for actions in the field of product safety and market surveillance.
On 9 July 2014, the EEA EFTA States and the European Union adopted seven Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs) by written procedure incorporating 26 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement. Among these were the Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme.
At its meeting on 27 June 2014, the EEA Joint Committee agreed to adopt 75 legal acts. Among them were EU programmes for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) and Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME), as well as a new General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER).
On 16 June 2014, Stefano Sannino, the Italian Ambassador to the European Union, presented the priorities for Italy’s Presidency of the Council of the EU at a breakfast meeting hosted by the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels.
On 28 May 2014, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint EEA EFTA comment to the EU side on a recent proposal to establish a European platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work.
Three EU regulations establishing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of education, training, youth and sport, and the new “Creative Europe” Programme, were among the 78 legal acts incorporated into the EEA Agreement by the EEA Joint Committee at its meeting on 16 May 2014.
EEA EFTA participation in the European Supervisory Authorities for financial markets, the incorporation of the new generation of EU programmes into the Agreement, and the continuation of the EEA and Norway Financial Mechanisms for another term were among the topics discussed by the EEA Council when it met in Brussels on 13 May 2014.
Members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and social partners from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway met in Oslo on 8 and 9 May 2014 for the 22nd meeting of the EEA Consultative Committee (EEA CC).
On 8 May 2014, the EFTA Standing Committee adopted a Decision that aims to speed up the incorporation of EU acts into the EEA Agreement. The new procedures will be applied as of 15 September this year.