On 19 March 2021, the EEA Joint Committee convened through video conference to adopt 38 Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs), incorporating 63 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. Amongst the JCDs adopted, the Joint Committee incorporated the secondary acts on Animal Health Law as they did for the main acts earlier in December 2020. This adoption forms part of an important package that aims at strengthening health and safety standards for animals and animal products across the EEA. Six acts on Energy labelling were also adopted, several in the field of financial services, and five COVID-related acts too.
Norwegian Ambassador Rolf Einar Fife, replacing his Icelandic counterpart to chair the meeting, acknowledged that the COVID-19 situation in Europe was still critical and that vaccination needed to go faster. “Nevertheless, we can be proud of our scientists, many of them in Europe, who came up with effective vaccines at record speed. The European solidarity regarding access to the vaccines, is something we value highly”, he said.
During the meeting, the delegates also discussed the decision shaping of the two EEA EFTA Comments recently submitted to the EU: The EEA EFTA Comment on the Review of the Construction Products Regulation and the EEA EFTA Comment on the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Finally, the Joint Committee had an exchange on the EEA EFTA States participation in EU programmes. Ambassador Fife informed the EEAS that the EEA EFTA States had experienced some difficulties regarding participation in the preparations of the new programmes and asked the European External Action Service (EEAS) to prepare a written statement to the respective European Commission services and Agencies to make the EEA EFTA States participation rights known.
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