On 5 February, the EEA Joint Committee met online to adopt 85 Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs) incorporating 170 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. These include 75 legal acts in the food and veterinary field as well as three urgent COVID-19 related acts in the field of state aid and transport.
The Icelandic EEA EFTA Chair, Ambassador Kristján Andri Stefánsson, started the meeting thanking the EU Chair, Clara Ganslandt from the European External Action Service (EEAS) for the good work. He underlined that “this is a solid contribution towards reducing the backlog and maintaining the homogeneity of the Internal Market”.
“Regarding acts outstanding, we are pleased to note that you continue to prioritise transport files like the Railway packages, EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications). These are files of particular importance to the EEA EFTA States”, he added.
About the Decision on state aid, Regulation (EU) No 2020/1474 prolongs the period of application of Regulation (EU) 360/2012 (on de minimis aid to undertakings providing services of general economic interest). It provides a time-bound derogation for undertakings in difficulty, to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the same issue, the delegates discussed the current situation as regards the COVID-19 pandemic and its vaccines. Chair Stefánsson reiterated the appreciation of the EEA EFTA States for “the good cooperation with the EU on securing access to vaccines throughout the EEA”.
“Speeding up vaccination is necessary to contain the virus but also to prevent further disruptions of the Internal Market”, he stated.
Finally, the EEA Joint Committee discussed the EEA EFTA Comment on the evaluation of the Postal Services Directive submitted to the EU on 7 January 2021. The EEA EFTA States underlined that digitisation and the growth of e-commerce continue to change the postal market, which create a complex regulatory environment. They therefore stressed the need to work together to review the current regulatory framework.
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