On 23 April 2021, the EEA Joint Committee met to adopt 30 Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs) incorporating 35 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. Among those, three COVID-19 related acts as well as nine acts on dangerous substances, and one Regulation on types of medical devices from 2017. Moreover, the Joint Committee incorporated seven acts in the field of the environment.
On the COVID-related acts, one of them is linked to agricultural and forestry tractors whereas the two others are in the field of transport. Still regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway had requested to add a point on the agenda concerning the EU´s export restrictions on vaccines against the virus. After an extraordinary meeting of the EEA Joint Committee held on 26 March to discuss the matter, the EEA EFTA States noted the EU explanation that these restrictions would not affect the export of vaccines to their countries, secured through the Advanced Purchasing Agreement. Although, the EEA EFTA States welcomed the solution found, they requested that the EU rectify the export authorisation scheme as it is incompatible with the EEA Agreement.
The Joint Committee then exchanged views on the participation of the EEA EFTA States in EU Programmes 2021-2027. Chair, Ambassador Stefánsson, reiterated the robust goodwill of the EEA EFTA States to cooperate with the EU side.
“I am pleased to note that we have already begun our technical work with your team and the relevant Commission services earlier this week to conclude on provisions for the implementation of our agreement”, he said.
Lastly, the Joint Committee discussed the review of the EEA Financial Mechanism. Both the EU and the EEA EFTA States have been exchanging letters reviewing the need to address economic and social disparities within the EEA under Article 11 of Protocol 38C of the EEA Agreement. Chair Stefánsson expressed the wish to conclude the topic during the next EEA Joint Committee meeting on 11 June 2021.
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