EFTA Council reviews the Ministerial meeting and third-country relations

Published 10-11-2020
Delegates at the EFTA Council, top row: Andri Lúthersson, Deputy Secretary-General, Peter Matt, Ambassador of Liechtenstein, Harald Aspelund, Ambassador of Iceland. Mid row: Hege Marie Hoff, Deputy Secretary-General, Henri Gétaz, Secretary-General, Didier Chambovey, Ambassador of Switzerland and Council Chair. Lower row: Pascal Schafhauser, Deputy Secretary-Genral, Krisztina Bende, Director of Trade Division, Dagfinn Sørli, Ambassador of Norway.

The EFTA Council met on 10 November 2020 under the Swiss Chairmanship through videoconference. The Council members received an update on EU EFTA cooperation and took note of the adoption by the European Council of three COVID-19-related measures incorporated into the EEA Agreement since the last meeting. They also considered the various EU initiatives to coordinate containment efforts and to review the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for the European economy.

The Council discussed the status and the way forward concerning EFTA’s third-country relations, and in particular the recent videoconferences with Chile, Philippines and Singapore and the upcoming meetings with Moldova and Kosovo.

Delegates then took stock of the formal Ministerial meeting that had taken place on 27 October 2020 via videoconference. Pleased with the preparation and the execution of the meetings, the delegates thanked the Secretariat and the Swiss Chair and also emphasised the good exchange with the EFTA advisory bodies on third-country relations, trade and sustainable development, e-commerce and transparency.

Furthermore, the delegates updated each other on their respective relations with the UK, mindful of the importance of their future relationship with the UK after its withdrawal from the EU and the EEA.

The priorities of the Swiss Chair for the second half of 2020.

Further information on the Council Chairmanship can be found on the EFTA website.

The Council Conclusions are available after the Council meetings on the EFTA Register.

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