EFTA Council adopts Chairmanship 2019-2022
High level seminar on European Labour Authority and Work-Life Balance
On 13 March, the EFTA Consultative Committee (EFTA CC) and the EFTA Working Groups on Gender Equality, Anti-Discrimination and Family Policy, on Health and Safety at Work and Labour Law, and on Free Movement of Persons, Employment and Social Policy met in Brussels for a joint seminar on recent EU social policy initiatives.
EFTA ambassadors and social partners discuss data protection and Brexit
On 12 March 2018, the Standing Committee of the EFTA States and the EFTA Consultative Committee (EFTA CC) met in Norway House, Brussels. This annual meeting is an opportunity for a briefing on developments over the last year, and for the forum to discuss current EEA issues, Swiss-EU relations and future perspectives with the EFTA ambassadors.
Iceland's Foreign Minister: EFTA countries are champions of free trade
Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson has been Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs since January 2017; first in the government of Bjarni Benediktsson and since 30 November in the government of Katrín Jakobsdóttir, formed by the Independence Party, the Left Green Movement and the Progressive Party. Previous to that he was Minister of Health and Social Security 2007 to 2009. He has been a member of Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, since 2003, and is a former chair of the EFTA Parliamentary Committee. Gudlaugur Thór will chair EFTA’s next Ministerial meeting, in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, on 25 June. He spoke to the EFTA Newsletter.
EFTA-UK Trade in 2017
Last year the EFTA Secretariat published a note on trade between EFTA and the United Kingdom, highlighting the importance of the trade relationship for all EFTA States and for the UK.
EFTA and Indonesia hold 14th round of negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
The 14th round of negotiations between the EFTA States and Indonesia on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) took place in Geneva from 26 February to 2 March 2018. Ambassador Markus Schlagenhof from Switzerland acted as the EFTA Spokesperson, while Ambassador Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat headed the Indonesian delegation.
EIB investments in EFTA countries extended for another four years
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended its lending facilities to the four EFTA countries until 31 December 2021. The investment envelope will also be increased to EUR 1 billion from the previous four-year extension of EUR 800 million.
EEA Joint Committee incorporates directive on bank recovery
The Standing Committee and the Joint Committee held their first meetings of 2018 in Brussels on 8 and 9 February respectively. At the Joint Committee meeting, 34 joint committee decisions (JCDs) were adopted, incorporating 51 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement, including a directive on bank recovery.
EEA seminar clarifies market implications of the EEA Agreement
On 6 February 2018, the EFTA Secretariat organised an introductory seminar focusing on how the EEA Agreement works and its market implications.