A horizontal adaptation is an adaptation applicable to all acts incorporated into the 22 Annexes to EEA Agreement.
The horizontal adaptations are found in Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. The provisions of Protocols to the EEA Agreement may also stipulate that the horizontal adaptations in Protocol 1 shall apply, which is for example the case for Protocol 47.
Horizontal adaptations ensure that certain recurring or general matters are resolved without having to be addressed specifically for each individual act. The provisions of all acts incorporated into the EEA Agreement are read in accordance with the horizontal adaptations in Protocol 1. The horizontal adaptations may however be superseded by sectoral or specific adaptations of relevance to individual acts.
Overview of what Protocol 1 covers
Description of coverage
Preambles of incorporated acts are not adapted under the EEA Agreement. Preambles are relevant to the extent necessary for the proper interpretation and application of an incorporated act in an EEA context.
Reference to the rights of the EFTA States to participate in EU committees (in particular comitology committees) covered by Articles 99-101 of and Protocol 31 to the EEA Agreement.
Provisions of incorporated acts on the amendment or adaptation of acts under EU law do not apply in the EEA. Only the EEA Joint Committee is competent to incorporate new acts or amend incorporated acts under Part VII of the EEA Agreement.
(a) Where EU Member States submit information to the Commission, EFTA States submit the same information to the EFTA Surveillance Authority, which informs the Standing Committee. The Commission and the EFTA Surveillance Authority exchange relevant information.
(b) Where EU Member States submit information to other Member States, they also send it to the Commission which sends it to the Standing Committee. EFTA States submit the same information to the other EFTA States and to the Standing Committee, which sends it to the Commission for distribution to the EU Member States.
→ Read Section 3.2.4. of Adaptations Note – Paragraph 50
(c) Sectoral solutions for direct information exchange where rapid transfer is required.
→ Read Section 3.2.4. of Adaptations Note – Paragraph 52
(d) Administrative, executive and surveillance functions of the Commission in the EU pillar are to be carried out in the EFTA pillar according to procedures established by the EFTA States. The EFTA Surveillance Authority performs surveillance related functions. The Standing Committee performs tasks of a legislative character and certain administrative functions.
Reports or assessments prepared by EU bodies (e.g. Commission) in the EU pillar are prepared by the EFTA Surveillance Authority or the Standing Committee in the EFTA pillar.
(a) Information published by the EU Member States is published in a corresponding manner by the EFTA States.
(b) Information published in the Official Journal regarding EU Member States is published in an EEA section of the Official Journal as regards the EFTA States.
Rights conferred and obligations imposed upon EU Member States or their public entities, undertakings or individuals are likewise conferred and imposed upon the corresponding actors in the EFTA States.
References to the territory of the EU in incorporated acts are understood as references to the territory of the EEA.
References to the nationals of EU Member States in incorporated acts are understood to also refer to nationals of the EFTA States.
Rights or obligations regarding the use of the official languages of the European Union in incorporated acts also include the official languages of the EFTA States (namely Icelandic and Norwegian).
Provisions on the entry into force or implementation of incorporated acts are not relevant. The entry into force of acts for the EEA Agreement follows from the entry into force of the JCD. If the act is already applicable in the EU when incorporated, then it becomes applicable in the EEA from the entry into force of the relevant Joint Committee Decision. Acts not yet applicable in the EU when they are incorporated will become applicable on the date foreseen in the act, i.e. at the same time in the EEA and in the EU. However, in both instances, the relevant JCD may provide another date of application or transitional arrangements.
Provisions on the addressees of EU acts are not relevant under the EEA Agreement.