EEA Joint Committee meets under Commission's Presidency

Published 04-02-2022
Clockwise, from top left: Pascal Schafhauser (Liechtenstein, Co-Chair, Rolf Einar Fife (Norway), Arne Røksund (President of ESA), Nicolas von Lingen (EU, Chair), Kristján Andri Stefánsson (Iceland).
  • First EEA Joint Committee Meeting chaired by the European Commission
  • Adopted 40 Joint Committee Decisions, including tobacco and organic products packages

On 4 February 2022, the EEA Joint Committee met to adopt 40 Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs) incorporating 73 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. 

This was the first EEA Joint Committee meeting chaired by the Secretariat-General of the European Commission after the EEA files were transferred from the European External Action Service to the Secretariat-General. Nicolas von Lingen presided over the meeting on behalf of the European Commission and Pascal Schafhauser, Liechtenstein’s ambassador to the EU, chaired the meeting on behalf of the EEA EFTA Member States.

The Joint Committee adopted decisions on participation in a wide array of programmes, including those that make up the Tobacco Files and the Organic Production Package.

“On behalf of the EEA EFTA States, I would like to thank both the European Commission and the EEAS for all the hard work that has been put into finding an agreement on these files and to have them ready for incorporation in time for today’s meeting”, Mr Schafhauser said during the meeting.

New health warnings for tobacco products

The Tobacco Products Directive was incorporated into the EEA Agreement today along with 10 implementing acts under the Directive. The Directive lays down rules governing the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, e.g., requires health warnings, prohibits tobacco with characterizing flavours and sets out specific requirements for electronic cigarettes.

The legislative package on Organic Production which was incorporated into the EEA Agreement today will address the challenges of the fast-growing organic sector. The aim of a legal framework is to ensure fair competition for farmers whilst preventing fraud and maintaining consumer trust. To this end the new legislation will strengthen the control system, make it easier for smaller farmers to convert to organic production, ensure that organic products imported into the EEA are of the same standard as those produced within the EEA, and that a greater range of products can be marketed as organic.

Since the last committee meeting in December, three EEA EFTA Comments have been submitted; on the regulation on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure; on the Commission Proposal on strengthening the CO2 emission performance standards; and on the European Commission’s legislative package on anti-money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

EEA EFTA Comment on the proposal for a Regulation on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure

EEA EFTA Comment on the proposal for CO2 emission reduction targets for new cars and vans

EEA EFTA Comment on the legislative proposals on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism

The next Joint Committee meeting will take place on 18 March.

Provisional texts of EEA Joint Committee Decisions in 2022

Photos from Standing Committee meeting on 3 February

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