Highlights from the meeting of Subcommittees I-IV

Published 03-06-2010
On 27 May 2010, Subcommittees I-IV held their third meeting of the year (April’s meeting having been cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano). Continuing to take advantage of the subcommittees’ merger, various horizontal issues concerning comitology, the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) and upcoming two-pillar issues were vividly discussed.

The ongoing development of the comitology procedures in the EU following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty continued to be discussed and Subcommittees I-IV emphasised the importance of following this process closely and ensuring continued EEA EFTA participation under the new structure. The delegations also discussed EEA EFTA participation in the OMC, including experiences gained in the fields of employment, social protection, education and training, youth, culture, and research and development.

The Secretariat also reported on the status of the current review of EFTA working groups and experts groups under the Standing Committee to take stock of how the groups had developed since 1994, with a view to assessing the current functioning and whether there was potential for improvement, including possible streamlining and simplification.

In addition to horizontal and institutional matters, the status of various EU acts being dealt with by the EEA EFTA States at different stages of the EEA decision-making process was also discussed. Since the Food Law Package entered into force on 1 May 2010, the backlog of acts with EFTA is beginning to be greatly reduced. Other issues discussed included the Renewable Energy Directive and the extension of the Emissions Trading Scheme to the air transport sector, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship and EEA EFTA participation in the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office.

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