EFTA Consultative Committee meets with the European Economic and Social Committee

Published 20-11-2019
From left: Björn Bjarnason, former government Minister and Member of the Icelandic Parliament, and Halldór Grönvold, Chair of the EFTA Consultative Committee
The EFTA Consultative Committee (EFTA CC) convened in Brussels on 19 and 20 November 2019. The EFTA CC is an advisory body that brings together representatives of employers’ associations and trade union confederations in the four EFTA countries.

During the EFTA CC meeting, chaired by Halldór Grönvold from the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, the Committee engaged in several discussions on ongoing processes and relations with the European Union as well as on issues linked to free trade agreements. Björn Bjarnason, former government Minister and Member of the Icelandic Parliament, gave a briefing on the recently published Icelandic working group assessment of the benefits and challenges of Iceland’s membership of the EEA. Furthermore, the Committee elected Jan Atteslander from economiesuisse as the new chairman for 2020 and adopted the EFTA CC Work Programme for 2020.  

During the two-day long meeting, the EFTA CC met with the Presidents of the Observatories of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) to discuss their main tasks and how to develop closer cooperation between the EFTA CC and the EESC.

The EFTA Consultative Committee also had several meetings with the EFTA Parliamentary Committee. These included a meeting with the Standing Committee of the EFTA States, As the Ministerial Chair of the Standing Committee of the EFTA States, the Icelandic Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson briefed the advisory bodies on the conclusions of the EEA Council and there was a good exchange on EEA-related matters. The advisory bodies also met with the Ministerial Chair of the EFTA Council, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, who is the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry. During the meeting, the EFTA advisory bodies presented their proposals to amend the new chapter on trade and sustainable development in EFTA free trade agreements and had a fruitful exchange on the status and future plans for EFTA free trade agreements.

 

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 13 February 2020