The meeting took place via videoconference and was chaired by Sabine Monauni, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the EU and EEA EFTA Chair. She reiterated the need to “act swiftly when COVID-19 measures urgently need incorporation” such as when two urgent acts were incorporated by written procedure on 6 August.
In order to address the serious circumstances due to the ongoing pandemic, temporary measures on official controls along the food chain and for organic production have been adopted. These measures are established to ensure the integrity of the control systems and to contain any risks to human and animal health and animal welfare.
“Both measures were identified as urgent, and we are pleased that they are among today’s decisions,” Ambassador Monauni said.
The JDC on the 2011 Financial Conglomerates Directive (FICOD) was also adopted. It is intended to improve supplementary supervision of financial entities that are part of financial conglomerates in cross-border activities. The FICOD is among the last acts that were subject to delayed incorporation into the EEA Agreement due to complications concerning the incorporation of the Regulations on the European financial supervisory authorities: EBA, EIOPA and ESMA.
Finally, the Postal Services Directive JDC accomplishes the single market for postal services. Letters and parcels continue to play a key role for citizens and businesses as demonstrated also by the COVID-19 crisis. The Directive ensures that reliable and high-quality postal services remain available at affordable prices throughout the whole of the EEA.
The Joint Committee also received a presentation on European's digital future from Lorena Boix-Alonso, Director for Policy Strategy and Outreach in EU's DG CNECT. The three EEA EFTA Ambassadors stressed that digitalisation of Europe is a high priority. "We will continue to contribute to policy discussions - as with the recent EEA EFTA Comment on Artificial Intelligence and Data. We will do our part to further promote a homogeneous single market for digital services and implement the digital transition, as the EU's closest partner in this field," Sabine Monauni said.
The next formal meeting of the EEA Joint Committee is scheduled on 23 October 2020.
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