The EEA Council meets twice a year and provides political impetus for the development of the EEA Agreement, which has been the cornerstone of relations between the EEA EFTA States and the European Union for more than 20 years. The EEA EFTA States are represented in the EEA Council at Ministerial level.
On this occasion, the EEA Council discussed developments in the EEA Agreement since its last meeting in May 2014. Ministers welcomed the political agreement reached between the EU and EEA EFTA Finance Ministers on the principles for incorporating the EU Regulations on the European Supervisory Authorities for financial markets into the EEA Agreement, and stressed the need to conclude the necessary technical work quickly, in order to ensure effective and homogenous supervision throughout the EEA.
Ministers also commended the efforts made to reduce the number of legal acts awaiting incorporation into the EEA Agreement, which had decreased by 30% since the EEA Council’s last meeting, and discussed the continuation of the EEA financial mechanism for another term.
In addition, an orientation debate was held on current prospects for the EU 2030 framework for climate and energy in the EEA context, which was recently adopted by the European Council.
In the political dialogue that followed the meeting, discussions focused on Ukraine and Russia, and Syria, Iraq and ISIL, including the treatment of foreign fighters returning to Europe.
The EEA Council was chaired by Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, and attended by Mr Vidar Helgesen, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Norway, and Ms Bergdís Ellertsdóttir, Icelandic Ambassador to the European Union. Mr Benedetto Della Vedova, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, represented the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service also participated.
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