EEA Consultative Committee in Vaduz

Published 20-05-2010
On 18 and 19 May the EEA Consultative Committee held its 18th meeting in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. At the meeting, which was co-chaired by Mr Josef Beck (EFTA CC, Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Ms Marja Liisa Peltola (EESC, General Chamber of Commerce of Finland), the Committee dealt with a number of highly important topics that are pertinent to the functioning of the EEA in the near future.

The Committee discussed in detail a report on Europe 2020 and the EEA (rapporteurs: Ms Liina Carr (EESC, Trade Unions, Estonia) and Ms Liz Helgesen (EFTA CC, Trade Unions, Norway)) and adopted a resolution which, among other things, underlined that the EEA social partners and civil society have a role to play in assisting employers, employees, consumers and market participants to adapt to the new Europe 2020 Strategy and in implementing the Strategy. In its resolution the Committee also underlined that EU 2020 should strike the right balance between measures to address the employment impact of the crisis and reforms aimed at addressing Europe’s medium and long term labour market challenges.

The Committee discussed and adopted a resolution on Implications for the EEA of EU Post-crisis Financial Reform (rapporteurs: Mr Aslak Molvær (EFTA CC, Employers, Norway) and Mr Lars Nyberg (EESC, Trade Unions, Norway)) in which the Committee emphasised the obvious implications of post-crisis financial reform for the EEA EFTA States and called for closer EU-EEA EFTA cooperation to fill the regulatory gaps and create a supervisory system that is better matched to the already high level of integration of financial markets within the EEA. The Committee also underlined the importance of continued EEA EFTA involvement in the shaping of new EEA relevant financial legislation through participation in Commission committees and working groups. In this context the Committee stressed the importance of the EEA EFTA States using their observer status to its fullest, and of the EU side recognising the special role of the EEA EFTA States in policy shaping under the EEA Agreement.

The Committee received briefings on the development of the EEA Agreement and current EU-EEA EFTA issues from Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, Chairman-in-Office of the Standing Committee of the EFTA States, and Mr Gianluca Grippa from the European Commission, representing the Chairman-in-Office of the EEA Joint Committee. In addition, the Committee received three substance briefings on specific topics. First, the Committee was briefed on Liechtenstein and financial reform by Ms Katja Gey from the Prime Minister’s Office in Liechtenstein. Second, Ms Liina Carr, rapporteur on the EESC own-initiative report on Iceland, gave the Committee an update on developments as regards the Icelandic application for EU membership, and third, Mr Peter Nelson from the Swiss Integration Office gave a briefing on Swiss-EU relations.

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