Swiss Chair completes full-year Council chairmanship

Published 08-12-2020
Top row, from left: Hege Marie Hoff, EFTA Deputy Secretary-General, Didier Chambovey, Ambassador of Switzerland and Council Chair, Andri Lúthersson, EFTA Deputy Secretary-General. Mid row: Peter Matt, Ambassador of Liechtenstein, Henri Gétaz, EFTA Secretary-General, Harald Aspelund, Ambassador of Iceland. Low row: Pascal Schafhauser, EFTA Deputy Secretary-General, Dagfinn Sørli, Ambassador of Norway, Martin Zbinden, Deputy Head of Swiss mission.

The EFTA Council met under the Swiss Chair on 8 December 2020 via videoconference. This being the last Council meeting chaired by Switzerland for now, the Council thanked the Swiss Chair for the good work during a full-year chairmanship in 2020. The next Council meeting in February will be chaired by Norway.

The Council adopted three decisions at its meeting today, two regarding the appointment of a Swiss and a Liechtenstein member to the EFTA Board of Auditors (EBOA) ‘at four’ and one amending annex A of the EFTA Convention.

Delegates were also informed about the recent developments on EFTA-EU cooperation and the current impact of COVID-19 on EU-EFTA EEA cooperation.

The Chair of Deputies also provided some updates on the developments of their last meeting, taking stock of third-country activities, and the developments in the Parliamentary Committee and the Consultative Committee.

The Secretariat informed the Council about recent developments in EFTA’s work with third countries, in particular Moldova and Thailand, providing an uplifting view for 2021. In addition, the Secretariat presented its work on forming their new model chapter on E-commerce intended to be included in EFTA’s FTA agreements.

The Council finally discussed relations with the UK and delegates informed each other of relevant political developments, high-level meetings and other EFTA-related activities.

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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