In the recently adopted Single Market Strategy for goods and services, the European Commission has presented an action on a joint initiative on European standardisation. The action shows strong political support for standardisation and aims to modernise the European Standardisation System. On behalf of the four EFTA States, the EFTA Secretariat cooperates closely with the Commission and the European standardisation community in the standardisation area and is playing an active part in the development of the joint initiative.
The EFTA Standing Committee and the EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 4 and 5 February 2016 respectively.
On 3 February 2015, 70 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).
On 1 February, the EEA-Lex service was upgraded to offer new functionalities, such as graphical timelines, quick and advanced search forms, and the inclusion of proposed EU acts with possible EEA relevance.
An Introductory Seminar on the EEA will take place on Thursday 18 February 2016 at the Abbey of Neumünster Cultural Exchange Center in Luxembourg.
On 1 January 2016, the next phase of the EU programme helping governments to modernise their administrations and provide interoperable digital services will begin. Iceland and Norway have expressed their wish be on board from the start.
At a launch event hosted by the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels, the President of the EFTA Court, Carl Baudenbacher presented "The Handbook of EEA Law", a comprehensive examination of law encompassed by the EEA Agreement.
Last year, the EU adopted a climate and energy policy framework for 2030, including a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 40% below 1990 levels. Norway and Iceland have announced that they want to fulfil equivalent targets jointly with the European Union and its Member States.
On 11 December 2015, the EEA Joint Committee adopted 27 decisions incorporating 47 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement. The Committee also decided to repeal a Commission Decision from the EEA Agreement regarding the transfer of personal data to the United States.
On 19 November the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee (EEA JPC) convened in Brussels to discuss several current topics related to the EU and the EEA, including the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market Strategy and developments in the EEA Agreement.