EFTA Council reviews Ministerial meeting and discusses free trade relations

Published 09-12-2011
The EFTA Council met for the last time in 2011 on 8 December, where it reviewed the winter EFTA Ministerial meeting held on 14 November in Geneva and discussed free trade relations with countries outside the European Union.

The Council discussed the results of the Ministerial meeting, including next steps for commencing free trade negotiations with Central American countries (Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama).

The Council approved the budget for 2012 of CHF 22 million, and appointed a new Norwegian member to the EFTA Board of Auditors.

Concerning relations with free trade partners, the Council reviewed the results of the recent round with India. Furthermore, the Council assessed the outcome of a Joint Committee meeting under the EFTA-Israel Free Trade Agreement held on 23 November, where it was agreed to modernise and enhance the Agreement in areas such as trade in agricultural products and rules of origin.

This meeting marked the last under the Norwegian chairmanship as Switzerland will take over the rotating EFTA Chair in the first half of 2012. The first meeting of 2012 is planned to be held on 16 February.