On 9 July 2021, the EEA Joint Committee met to adopt 34 Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs) incorporating 82 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement. This included two COVID-19 related acts, as well as 56 acts in the food and veterinary field and one decision on enhanced cooperation between public employment services.
The Joint Committee President, Rolf Einar Fife, welcomed the length of the long list and encouraged continued effort of cooperation on that matter. Ambassador Fife also highlighted the EEA EFTA States request for a written procedure for an urgent incorporation of several important files. This included the 4th Railway package particularly important to Norway and the establishment of the equivalence of COVID-19 certificates issued by Switzerland.
Concerning COVID-19, the EEA EFTA side welcomed the new EU Digital certificate and the incorporation allowing simultaneous application of the regulation across the EEA on 1 July. Ambassador Fife thanked the EU side for their “efforts in making the incorporation of the regulation possible within the short timeframe we had. This is yet another example of our good cooperation”.
Finally, the EEA Joint Committee exchanged on the participation of the EEA EFTA States to EU programmes. As there was a short deadline, the EEA Joint Committee would not be able to incorporate the programme regulations in time for 10 July. The EEA EFTA States then proposed to agree on adopting these JCDs as soon as possible in autumn 2021.
Priorities of incoming EEA EFTA chair
During the EFTA Standing Committee meeting the previous day, on 8 July, the Norwegian Chair presented its work programme for the second half of 2021. Among the priorities, the fight against COVID-19 is still high up on the list, the participation to EU programmes, and the EEA outreach to a larger public. The Chair wants to emphasise close cooperation and coordination with the EU for each of these points.
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