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 also discussed progress on the European Financial Supervisory Authorities and other longstanding dossiers such as BEREC and the Third Energy Package. Ministers emphasised the importance of a well-functioning Single Market as a driver in boosting economic growth and creating new jobs throughout Europe, and welcomed the steps already taken to implement the proposals contained in the strategies for a Digital Single Market and upgrading the Single Market.
The EEA Council acknowledged the significance of the negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the United States, and welcomed the continuous exchange of information between the European Commission and the EEA EFTA States on these negotiations.
Ministers also had a political dialogue, in which they discussed the migration and refugee crisis, Russia and Ukraine, and the EU’s Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, including cooperation in the Arctic.
The EEA Council was chaired by Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, representing the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and co-chaired by Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, representing the EEA EFTA States. The Council welcomed Ms Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, and Ms Elisabeth Aspaker, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway, who were both attending the EEA Council meeting for the first time in their new capacities.
From left: Ms Elisabeth Aspaker, Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway; Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein; Ms Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland; and Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
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