“Our EEA EFTA partners are [the European Union’s] closest partners, so we are very interested in this relationship, and the seminar provided us with a good overview of how the EEA works”, said Michael Mareel from the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU. He was attending the EFTA Secretariat’s seminar on the European Economic Area (EEA) held at the EFTA House on 9 March 2023. The biannual seminar provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to the functioning of the EEA and how the three participating states – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – are integrated into the EU’s Internal Market.
The seminar was divided into two parts:
In the morning experts from the EFTA Secretariat, the EEA and Norway Grants, the EFTA Surveillance Authority as well as representatives from the Mission of Norway to the EU and the European Commission held presentations on various topics related to the EEA. The presentations provided the participants with a comprehensive introduction to the EEA Agreement, why surveillance and judicial control are crucial to the enforcement of EEA law, as well as how the EEA and Norway Grants reduce social and economic disparities in the EEA. The morning presentations were also streamed online. Over 90 people attended the seminar in person and 150 online.
In the afternoon, participants chose between four parallel break-out sessions, led by experts from EFTA, ESA and the EFTA Court. This offered participants the opportunity to delve into important EEA topics in a more interactive way. Workshops took place on the following topics:
- EU Agencies: Implications for the EEA Agreement and how to address them
- EEA Law: Incorporation, scope and application
- EEA Enforcement: Surveillance and Judicial Control – run by ESA and EFTA Court
- Decision Shaping: How EEA EFTA States can influence EU legislation making
Attendees included officials from Ministries, agencies and companies in the four EFTA Member States, delegates from the diplomatic representation in Brussels, staff from the European Commission, academics and students. The next EEA Seminar will take place in September 2023.
Find pictures here
Recordings of the presentations:
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