The so-called Omnibus II Directive (2014/51/EU) is amending Directives 2003/71/EC and 2009/138/EC in respect of the powers of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority. The Anti-Money Laundering Directive (2015/849/EU) on the other hand deals with the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. This Directive is the fourth to address the threat of money laundering and amends Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 and repeals Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/70/EC. The preventive measures laid down in this Directive particularly address the manipulation of money derived from serious crime and the collection of money or property for terrorist purposes.
“With regard to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and Omnibus II, the EEA EFTA States have agreed upon a special internal procedure to ensure the swift incorporation of certain delegated and implementing acts related to these directives to allow for their simultaneous, or close to simultaneous entry into force for the EEA EFTA States,” said the EEA EFTA Chair, Ambassador Oda Helen Sletnes.
The EEA Joint Committee also took note of the four EEA EFTA Comments submitted to the EU side. Three of these comments concern EEA EFTA participation in EU Programmes for the period 2021-2027. The Comment on participation in EU programmes under the Multiannual Financial Framework appreciates that the proposal clearly states that the EEA EFTA States shall enjoy full participation rights as provided for in the EEA Agreement.
In the two Comments on Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme, the EEA EFTA States appreciate that the proposals make specific references to the EEA Agreement. However, they also raise their concern regarding provisions in the proposal that may be interpreted to impose restrictions or limitations on EEA EFTA participation in parts of the programmes, and underline that EEA EFTA States should have equal access to all parts of the programmes and should be provided with the same rights and obligations as those applicable to EU Member States.
In the final Comment concerning consumer protection rules, the EEA EFTA States support the proposed approximation of national rules on penalties for infringements of EU consumer law, but consider that decisions related to the allocation of revenues from fines should be addressed at national level. The EEA EFTA States are, however, concerned about the proposal to limit the right to withdraw from online and off-premises contracts, as this could be perceived as lowering the level of consumer protection.
The last EEA Joint Committee meeting of the year was also the last meeting chaired by Ambassador Oda Helen Sletnes.
In 2018 the EEA Joint Committee met eight times, adopted 258 decisions, incorporating 434 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement.
Find high resolution images from the meetings here.
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