On 21 March, at the second EFTA Council meeting in 2017 under the chairmanship of Norway, the Council discussed preparations for the upcoming EFTA Ministerial meeting in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard on 26 June 2017.
The Standing Committee of the EFTA States and the EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 16 and 17 March 2017 respectively. In the Joint Committee meeting, 22 decisions were adopted incorporating 69 legal acts into the EEA Agreement.
Effective as of 14 March 2017, Iceland has lifted capital controls imposed as a stabilising measure during the country’s financial crisis in 2008. This represents the completion of Iceland’s return to international financial markets.
Delegations from the EFTA States and Malaysia convened from 13 to 17 March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur for the eighth round of negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement.
Iceland signed the Joint Initiative on Standardisation in the meeting of the European Commission’s Committee on Standards which took place in Brussels on 9 March, thus joining Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein in committing to this Initiative.
On 10 March, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint comment on the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on making CE marked fertilising products available on the market.
On 9 March, the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality of Iceland, Thorsteinn Víglundsson, met with EFTA's Deputy Secretary-General Dag W. Holter in Brussels to discuss the role of the EFTA Secretariat and the EEA Agreement
Iceland is to become the first country to make employers prove they offer equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. In this context, a half-day seminar on an “Equal Pay Management System – The Icelandic Model” was presented by the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality, on Thursday 9 March 2017 at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels.
On 7 March Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway submitted a joint Comment on a European Commission proposal for a new founding regulation on CEDEFOP - the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.
The EFTA States and Ecuador held their second round of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) from 27 February to 3 March in Geneva, Switzerland.