EEA Joint Committee continues to ensure functioning of the EEA Agreement despite unusual circumstances

Published 20-03-2020
Due to the unsual circumstances caused by COVID-19, the usually busy EFTA Secretariat was very quiet as the Joint Committee meeting was conducted by teleconference.
The EFTA Standing Committee and the EEA Joint Committee convened on 19 and 20 March respectively. During the Joint Committee meeting, 17 decisions were adopted, incorporating 25 legal acts into the EEA Agreement.

Due to the challenging situation caused by COVID-19 and the recommendation from Belgian authorities to practice social distancing, both of the Committee meetings were held via teleconference. By utilising the technological tools available, the EEA EFTA States and the EU are able to ensure the continued smooth functioning of the EEA Agreement, despite the unusual circumstances.

Decisions adopted by the Joint Committee included a Decision implementing European Market Infrastructure Regulations (EMIR)/BREXIT acts in the field of financial services into the EEA Agreement. EMIR/BREXIT determines, for a limited period of time, that the UK complies with EMIR on reporting requirements immediately after Brexit.

Among the other decisions were JCD 38/2020 and 39/2020 on emission limits of specific types of non-road types of machinery and vehicles.

In advance of the Joint Committee meeting, the EEA EFTA States had requested a briefing on the proposal recently brought forward by the European Commission on a European Green Deal, with the overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General for Climate Action at the European Commission, provided an informative presentation on the European Green Deal.

“High ambitions, a collective effort and urgent action are needed to speed up the transition to a sustainable, climate neutral and environmentally friendly future,” said the EFTA Chair, Rolf Einar Fife, as a comment to the briefing given by Clara de la Torre.  

The EFTA Standing Committee serves as a forum in which the EEA EFTA States consult one another, and they arrive at a common position before meeting with the EU in the EEA Joint Committee. The EEA Joint Committee is responsible for the management of the EEA Agreement.



Provisional texts of EEA Joint Committee Decisions in 2020

List of adopted Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs)

Find photos from the meeting here

Head of EEA Policy Coordination
EEA Coordination Division

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