EEA seminar attracts professionals from EFTA and EU Member States

Published 14-02-2019
EFTA Secretary-General, Henri Gétaz
Around 130 participants from both the public and private sectors gathered at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels on 14 February 2019 for EFTA’s biannual seminar on the European Economic Area (EEA).

The seminar is intended to provide professionals both inside and outside the European Union with an introduction to how the EEA functions, and how it integrates Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway into the EU’s Internal Market.

“During the last 25 years, Europe has undergone profound evolutions. In a world of constant change, the positive spirit of cooperation, but also the particular institutional features of the EEA have allowed for adaptations and pragmatic solutions to be found,” said EFTA Secretary-General Henri Gétaz in his opening remarks.

“The Agreement has significantly contributed to building a more competitive, predictable and prosperous Europe, with an extended homogenous single market in which goods, capital, services and persons move freely.”

Presentations were given by the EFTA Secretariat, the EEA and Norway Grants, the EFTA Statistical Office, the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court, to provide participants with a thorough understanding of the day-to-day operation and management of the EEA Agreement.

Focusing on how the EEA Agreement benefits both EEA EFTA and EU member states, the afternoon session included a presentation on how the EEA and Norway Grants reduce economic and social disparities in the EEA, EEA participation in EU programmes, and how the free movement of goods works in the EEA.

Special attention was paid to the area of standardisation by Jacob Mehus, the Director of Standards Norway, who explained the importance of standards and how they have increased labour productivity in the Nordic countries.


Links to the presentations can be found below:

EFTA and the EEA Agreement – Hege Marie Hoff

Functioning of the EEA and Role of the EFTA Secretariat – Brit Helle

Incorporation: How EU law becomes EEA law – Audur Steinarsdóttir

Importance of Statistics in the EEA– Volker Täube

Surveillance: How EEA law is enforced – Catherine Howdle

Judicial control: How EEA law is interpreted – Olafur Einarsson

EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021– Árni Páll Árnason

How do goods move freely in the EEA? – Guðrún Rögnvaldardóttir

Benefits of Standards and Standardization – Jacob Mehus

EU MFF 2021-2027 – Participation of EFTA States in EU Programmes – Egill Eyjólfsson


Photos from the seminar can be found here.


Head of Information and Communication
Secretary-General's Office

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