On 17 July 2005, the EEA EFTA countries initialled a draft agreement with the EU on new financial contributions to reduce social and economic disparities and promote cooperation in Europe for the period 2014–2021.
On 16 July 2015, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint comment to the European Commission’s forthcoming strategy for goods and services. The EEA EFTA States emphasise their commitment to a well-functioning Single Market as a key driver in boosting economic growth and jobs throughout Europe.
The 2015 edition of the EFTA Bulletin focuses on the EEA Agreement from a historical perspective, explains the process of incorporating EU legal acts into the Agreement and outlines current and future challenges for the EEA.
An EU decision on the deployment of the interoperable EU-wide eCall service was among the 25 legal acts incorporated into the EEA Agreement by the EEA Joint Committee on 10 July 2015.
On 15 June 2015, the EFTA Secretariat organised a policy seminar focusing on the importance of the Internal Market for growth in Europe, with keynote speeches by Vidar Helgesen, Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, and Andreas Schwab MEP.
A regulation concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients was among the 57 legal acts incorporated into the EEA Agreement by the EEA Joint Committee on 11 June 2015.
On 10 June, EFTA unveiled a major upgrade of its EEA-Lex service, offering improved search functionalities and individual web pages for each legal act. EEA-Lex is an interactive tool offering information on EU law that has been extended to the European Economic Area (EEA) or is under consideration for extension.
On 1 June 2015, an EEA Joint Committee Decision from 2014 to extend EU rules on plant protection products (PPPs) to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway entered into force, with the aim of strengthening the enforcement of human health and environmental legislation.
At the 43rd meeting of the EEA Council, held in Brussels on 18 May 2015, Ministers discussed the current situation of the cooperation within the EEA, focussing on the importance of maintaining and further developing a homogenous internal market as an engine for growth throughout the EEA. An orientation debate was held on the new “Digital Agenda”. The ongoing negotiations for a continuation of the EEA Financial Mechanisms for another term were also discussed.
“Over the past 20 years, Liechtenstein has been able to prove that it is a reliable partner for the EU as well as Norway and Iceland,” stated Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick before a crowded audience in the Town Hall of Liechtenstein’s capital, Vaduz, as the country celebrated the 20th anniversary of its EEA membership on 11 May 2015.