Highlights of Subcommittees I-IV Meeting – the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, Comitology and EU Relations with EFTA Countries

Published 02-02-2011
The Subcommittees continued their focus on the seven flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 Strategy, inviting the European Commission to present the proposal for a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion in their meeting on 1 February 2011. They also discussed several horizontal issues of importance to the EEA Agreement.

Mr Kevin Dench from DG Employment presented a Commission Communication entitled “The European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion” and stated that the Commission had placed the fight against poverty at the heart of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU’s economic, employment and social agenda. Member States had agreed on the common target of lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion within the next decade. In 2008, more than 80 million people across the EU were living below the poverty line, and with the economic crisis the situation had worsened. The Platform aims to create a joint commitment by the Member States, EU Institutions and key stakeholders to fight poverty and social exclusion. The Communication presents how different policies should contribute to the ambitious goals of reducing poverty and increasing inclusion.

The Subcommittees further discussed several horizontal issues such as the latest developments regarding comitology and the inclusion of the EEA EFTA States; the Draft Single Market Act; possible participation in the EU Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy; and the Council Conclusions of 14 December 2010 on EU relations with the EFTA countries. The Subcommittees adopted a Decision outlining the new Working Group Structure following the Review of the Working Group and Expert Group Structure. The Decision will be submitted to the Standing Committee for approval. In addition, the Subcommittees discussed access to the EFTA Extranet.

The Subcommittees also discussed a number of issues related to legislation under preparation for incorporation into the EEA Agreement, such as the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, the new Social Security Coordination Rules, the Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, the inclusion of aviation activities in the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme, the Third Legislative Package for the Internal Energy Market, the use of renewable energy sources, the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, legislation on novel food and genetically modified food and feed, defence-related products, and the new financial supervisory authorities.

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