On 14 October 2014, Finance Ministers from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the European Union announced that a solution had been found on the incorporation of the EU Regulations establishing the European Supervisory Authorities into the EEA Agreement. Joint conclusions were adopted at the annual meeting between EFTA and EU Ministers of Finance and Economy (the "EFTA ECOFIN") in Luxembourg.
In response to the financial crisis of 2008, the EU created a new supervisory structure for its Member States, including three supervisory authorities for the banking, insurance and securities sectors. In order to secure a homogeneous finance market throughout the whole of the European Economic Area, the EFTA Surveillance Authority will be given new competences to adopt legally binding decisions towards national surveillance authorities and financial institutions in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The main topics for discussion at the EFTA ECOFIN meeting were supervision, regulation, sustainable growth and employment.
The EFTA ECOFIN meeting was chaired by Mr Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister for Finance, representing the Italian Presidency of the EU Council. The current EFTA Chair, Mr Adrian Hasler, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Liechtenstein, presented the common EEA EFTA paper. Mr Jyrki Katainen, Vice President and Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, and Mr Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, presented the Commission's position on the issue.
Statements were made by Mr Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of Iceland, Ms Siv Jensen, Minister of Finance of Norway, and Ms Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Finance.
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