First EEA Joint Committee meeting at Berlaymont

Published 29-04-2022
From left: Alina Brunhart, Mission of Liechtenstein to the EU, Pascal Schafhauser, Ambassador of Liechtenstein to the EU (EEA EFTA Chair), Henri Gétaz, EFTA Secretary-General, Andri Lúthersson, EFTA Deputy Secretary-General.

The EEA Joint Committee met on 29 April 2022, for the first time at the Berlaymont building of the European Commission. This was also the first fully physical meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

Nicolas von Lingen presided over the meeting on behalf of the European Commission and Pascal Schafhauser, Liechtenstein’s Ambassador to the EU, co-chaired the meeting on behalf of the EEA EFTA Member States.

“I am pleased to note that there are several important files on today’s list of incorporated acts, such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive from 2010 and the revision of protocol 4 on rules of origin. I would also like to highlight the Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window Environment, some key acts on sustainable finance disclosure and taxonomy, and two urgent COVID-19 related acts“, said Mr Schafhauser.

The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive is an important instrument to achieve energy savings and lower energy expenditure for consumers. The legislation lays down rules to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including through minimum requirements for new and existing buildings, calculation and certification of energy performance, and a framework for nearly zero-energy buildings.

Key instruments in climate and energy targets for 2030

The Taxonomy Regulation provides a classification system that establishes a list of environmentally sustainable economic activities. The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation imposes comprehensive sustainability disclosure requirements for sustainable investment products which cover a broad range of environmental, social, and governance metrics.

Together, these Regulations are among key instruments in the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and are intended to help reach the objectives of the European green deal.

As for the European Maritime Single Windows Environment act, it provides for harmonised reporting obligations for ships, linking national reporting systems to each other in a coordinated and harmonised way. It will improve interoperability between reporting systems and make it easier to share and reuse ship reporting data. The aim is to simplify ship reporting for both the users and the coastal states.

Since the last Joint Committee meeting in March, the EEA EFTA States have submitted a Comment on the proposal for a Regulation on general product safety. They welcome the Commission’s proposal and support the objective of improving the safety of non-food consumer products sold both on- and offline in the Internal Market. The States fully support the principle that online marketplaces should get increased responsibilities in terms of consumer protection. This is even more important given the increasing number of products sold online.

Increased incorporation of legal acts

The EEA Joint Committee adopted 76 decisions, incorporating 134 legal acts into the EEA Agreement. The EEA EFTA States commended the impressive list of acts incorporated and thanked the European Commission for its work. Before the meeting, the number of acts awaiting incorporation was 614 but following it the number is down to 480.

“This is a positive development that we hope to see continue. You can count on the EEA EFTA States’ commitment in this respect. We look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation with you and your team in our joint effort to keep the list of acts outstanding to a minimum“, said Mr Schafhauser.

Find provisional texts of the JCDs here.

Find more photos from the meeting here.

Head of EEA Policy Coordination
EEA Coordination Division
Head of Information and Communication
Secretary-General's Office

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