Iceland briefs EFTA Standing Committee on EU membership negotiations

Published 01-07-2011
The EFTA Standing Committee and EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 30 June and 1 July 2011 respectively. On 1 July, Liechtenstein took over the rotating chairs of both committees. In the Standing Committee, Iceland reported on the meeting of its Foreign Minister with several members of the European Commission in connection with the Iceland-EU Intergovernmental Conference. Norway reported on a recent meeting of the Prime Minister with his counterparts from Poland and Hungary, and the Liechtenstein delegation informed the Standing Committee of the visit by the EU Council’s EFTA Working Party to Liechtenstein in June.

The Icelandic delegate briefed the Standing Committee on the second EU-Iceland Intergovernmental Conference which was held in Brussels on 27 June and marked the successful conclusion of the screening process (the comparison between Icelandic and EU legislation) and the start of substantive membership negotiations between Iceland and the EU. Four chapters were opened: Public Procurement; Information Society and Media; Science and Research; and Education and Culture. Two of these were provisionally closed, namely the chapters on Science and Research and Education and Culture.

The Standing Committee took note of the outgoing Norwegian Chair’s Final Report for the first half of 2011 and the Liechtenstein Chair Work Programme for the second half of the year. The Liechtenstein Programme can be found here.

In the Joint Committee meeting, the EFTA side reported on the EFTA Ministerial meeting in Schaan, Liechtenstein, on 21 June, both regarding EFTA’s relations with the EU, and free trade relations with countries outside the EU.

The Committee adopted 31 decisions incorporating 117 legal acts into the EEA Agreement, some of which are explained further in separate news items on this website.

The Committee also welcomed Ms Oda Helen Sletnes as the new President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

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