The EEA Joint Committee met on 10 June 2022, for the final time at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission. This was also the last meeting of the year chaired by the Commission, represented by Mr Nicolas von Lingen, and the last chaired by Liechtenstein on behalf of the EEA EFTA States, represented by Ambassador Pascal Schafhauser.
The chairmanship now moves to the EEA EFTA States, represented by Iceland and the next meeting is on 8 July in EFTA House.
At the start of the meeting, Schafhauser thanked the Commission on behalf of the EEA EFTA States for “a successful and highly useful” EEA Council on 23 May. “We are very pleased about the high level of commitment of the Vice-President of the Commission Maroš Šefčovič to his new portfolio and we look forward to and appreciate his continued participation in future meetings of the Council”, Schafhauser said.
In total, 36 decisions incorporating 55 legal acts were adopted at the meeting. The EEA EFTA States highlighted the act amending the General Block Exemption Regulation in the field of State Aid; the directive on waste from electric and electronic equipment; and the two COVID-19-related acts establishing the equivalence of COVID certificates issued by Colombia and Malaysia.
“I am furthermore pleased to note the inclusion of the Data Roaming Regulation, as we discussed the need for its urgent incorporation at our last meeting on 29 April. We thank you for your efforts in handling this file in a swift manner, ensuring simultaneous application for the regulation throughout the EEA”, Schafhauser also said.
Currently, the backlog of acts outstanding for incorporation stands at 496. The EEA EFTA States share the ambition of the European Union to reduce the number of JCDs (Joint Committee Decisions) where entry into force is pending due to constitutional requirements, particularly for JCDs where more than six months have passed since adoption.
The EEA EFTA States have submitted an EEA EFTA Comment on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on European green bonds. In the Comment, the EEA EFTA States support the Commission’s proposed implementation of a standard that contributes to the environmental integrity of the green bonds market and raises its environmental ambitions.
The EEA EFTA States also support the registration and supervision of external reviewers for green bonds. However, they emphasize that such supervision would benefit from local expertise and should therefore be placed with national supervisors instead of the European Securities Markets Authority.
The EEA EFTA States believe that the proposed application of the regulation twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal is too short. We support the position of the EU Council that the application should be eighteen months after publication in the Official Journal to enable the simultaneous application of the Regulation across the highly integrated green bond market of the EEA.
At the end of the meeting, Schafhauser thanked the Commission representatives for their chairing of the Joint Committee over the last six months. “Liechtenstein’s Chairmanship on the EEA EFTA side coincided with the transfer of the EEA file to the Secretariat-General and I can assure you on behalf of all EEA EFTA States that we are extremely pleased with the excellent start of our cooperation”, he said.
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