Icelandic EEA EFTA Chair outlines priorities for second half of 2019

Published 10-07-2019
From left: Hege Marie Hoff, EFTA Deputy Secretary-General, Henri Gétaz, EFTA Secretary-General, Rolf Einar Fife, Ambassador of Norway, Högni Kristjánsson, College of ESA, Sabine Monauni, Ambassador of Liechtenstein, Claude Maerten, Head of Division at EEAS, Bente Angell-Hansen, President of ESA, Gunnar Pálsson, Ambassador of Iceland.
The Standing Committee of the EFTA States and the EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 9 and 10 July respectively. 23 decisions were adopted at the EEA Joint Committee, incorporating 30 EU legal acts into the EEA Agreement, including the Benchmark-Regulation.

“It has been a good year for the EEA Agreement, with the Summit of our Prime Ministers with the EU leaders in March a highlight," said Ambassador Gunnar Pálsson, the incoming Icelandic Chair of the Standing Committee, when chairing his first Joint Committee meeting.

“I would like to emphasise the fact that we have incorporated more acts into the EEA Agreement this year than we did over the whole of last year. This has resulted in a 20% reduction of the backlog,” he said.

“We are particularly pleased that we were able to incorporate the Benchmark Regulation in our meeting today. We are also pleased that we could adopt the decisions on the budget lines and would like to thank you for your efforts and cooperation in making this possible.”

At the Standing Committee, the Icelandic Chair presented the priorities for the second half of 2019.

“We will use the momentum of the 25th anniversary to strengthen knowledge of the EEA Agreement, and plan to organise a seminar in the autumn, focusing on decision shaping and the two-pillar system,” Ambassador Pálsson said.

Iceland will also underline EEA EFTA programme participation in the new EU programmes for 2021-2027, as well as continue efforts on decision-shaping mechanisms by scrutinizing pre-pipeline and pipeline issues. A special effort will be made to ensure timely incorporation of new EEA relevant EU acts, and to further reduce the number of acts awaiting incorporation. Furthermore, the Chair intends to continue to monitor developments regarding all Brexit-related matters.

The meeting of the Joint Committee was the last one for Claude Maerten, who has chaired the EU side for the last four years.

“On behalf of myself and the EEA EFTA States, I would like to extend my gratitude to you for the very constructive and friendly cooperation during the last four years. We wish you all the best,” Mr Pálsson said.

Priorities of the Icelandic Chair - Second half of 2019

Provisional texts of EEA Joint Committee Decisions in 2019

List of adopted Joint Committee Decisions (JCDs)

Find photos from the meetings here.

 

 

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Legal Notes on the EEA Agreement