EFTA advisory bodies meet with Foreign Ministers

Published 19-11-2019
From left: Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson from the Mission of Iceland to the EU, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and Diljá Mist Einarsdóttir, Political Advisor to the Foreign Minister
On Tuesday 19 November, the EFTA Parliamentary Committee and the EFTA Consultative Committee met with the Standing Committee of the EFTA States at ministerial level.

The aim of the meeting was for the advisory bodies to be briefed on the conclusions of the EEA Council. The Chair of the EFTA Parliamentary Committee, Smári McCarthy, and the Chair of the EFTA Consultative Committee, Halldór Grönvold, were joint hosts and co-chaired the meeting.

At ministerial level, the meeting was attended by Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs as the Ministerial Chair of the Standing Committee of the EFTA States; Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway; and Sabine Monauni, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the EU. Þórðarson conveyed the message he presented in the EEA Council and emphasised the importance of the Single Market. He explained how it has been a significant source of economic growth and social progress in the EEA States for the past 25 years.

In his speech, Smari McCarthy emphasised the importance of the advisory bodies. He highlighted how the EFTA Parliamentary Committee has allowed for dozens of members of parliaments of the EEA EFTA States and of the European Parliament to debate policies in the fields covered by the EEA Agreement.

“The EFTA PC has contributed to a better understanding between the two sides and it has helped in implementing the Agreement in our respective countries. The committee members have engaged in the political debate at home and with civil society bringing the EEA closer to our citizens,” he said. Speaking for the EFTA CC, Halldór Grönvold congratulated the EFTA States on the recently published EEA EFTA Comment on the priorities of the Single Market beyond 2019. He also highlighted the importance of a strong social dimension to the Single Market and called on the EEA EFTA States to follow closely the implementation of the action plan for the European Social Pillar which has been announced by Commission President-elect Von der Leyen.

The meeting was co-chaired by Smári McCarthy (PC) and Halldór Grönvold (CC), here in centre.

Find more pictures from the meeting here. 

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EEA Coordination Division

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EEA Coordination Division

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - Brussels 13 February 2020