EFTA Council meets for the first time in 2023 and for the fifth time under Liechtenstein Chairmanship

Published 01-02-2023
From left to right: Mr Frank Büchel - Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Henri Gétaz - Secretary-General, Mr Kurt Jäger - Ambassador of Liechtenstein (Chairman)

The EFTA Council met in Geneva on 31 January for the fifth meeting under Liechtenstein’s Chairmanship and for the first time in 2023.

Delegates were informed about the upcoming EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committee meetings in Brussels on 2 and 3 February, during which 28 Joint Committee Decisions incorporating 45 acts are to be adopted. In addition, the Secretariat reported on the first EEA stakeholder reception that took place on 26 January at EFTA House in Brussels, bringing together the wider EEA EFTA community. Preparations for the next EEA Council, which is foreseen to take place on 24 May, are under the way.

The Chair of Deputies reported on their meeting on 20 January, during which delegates had discussed technical cooperation projects and exchanged information on third-country processes and the upcoming activities of the EFTA advisory bodies.

During the Council meeting, delegates reviewed ongoing third-country processes. The Secretariat reported on the positive progress towards the finalisation of the EFTA–Moldova free trade agreement and on the third round of negotiations with Thailand in Bangkok that took place last week.

The Secretariat briefed the Council on horizontal issues providing an update on the Working Groups on small and medium sized enterprise, trade and sustainable development, and utilisation of preferences in free trade agreements. 

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 21 March 2023.


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