EEA Joint Committee highlights 30 years of the European Economic Area

Published 05-02-2024

On 2 February, the EEA Joint Committee convened for its first meeting of 2024. The meeting was held at the premises of the European Commission in the Charlemagne building. Ambassador Kristján Andri Stefánsson chaired the meeting for Iceland after taking over the rotating EFTA Chair from Liechtenstein. President Nicolas von Lingen of the Secretariat-General of the European Commission co-chaired the meeting on behalf of the EU.    

The Committee adopted 43 Joint Committee Decisions, incorporating 85 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. Among them were several important decisions related to financial services, foodstuffs, public procurement and statistics. 

Ambassador Stefánsson opened the meeting by congratulating his counterparts on the anniversary of the EEA Agreement. 

“The fact that our Agreement has now passed the three-decade mark stands as a testament to its lasting importance for citizens and businesses across our countries,” stated the Ambassador. 

Ambassador Stefánsson also highlighted the two EEA EFTA Comments submitted to the EU since the last Joint Committee meeting: on the Net Zero Industry Act and the Right to Repair proposal. 

“The EEA EFTA States face the same challenges as the EU. We agree that there is a need to accelerate the development and production of net-zero technologies to ensure Europe’s future prosperity and resilience, without ruling out international cooperation and trade wherever possible,” said Ambassador Stefánsson, referring to the Commission’s proposed Net Zero Industry Act. 

After this meeting, 498 acts remain in the backlog of legal acts awaiting incorporation. 

“Reducing the backlog remains a key priority for us. We made good progress on long-outstanding files last year, thanks to our joint efforts. But we must keep up the good work,” said the Ambassador.  

The EEA Joint Committee is responsible for the management of the EEA Agreement and is a forum in which views are exchanged and decisions taken by consensus to incorporate EU legislation into the EEA Agreement. The Committee comprises the ambassadors of the EEA EFTA States and representatives of the Secretariat-General of the European Commission. 

 

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