Joint meeting of the EFTA Standing Committee at a Ministerial level with the Parliamentary and Consultative Committees

Published 18-11-2009
For the first time, a joint meeting between the Standing Committee of the EFTA States at a Ministerial level, the Committee of Members of Parliament of the EFTA States (MPS) and the EFTA Consultative Committee, was held in the Norway House, Brussels, 16 November 2009.

The meeting was chaired by the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Jonas Gahr Støre, and co-chaired Mr Harry Quaderer, Chair of the MPS and by Mr Guðlaugur Stefánsson, acting chair of the Consultative Committee. The meeting was attended by Mr Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, by Dr Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, and by members of the two Committees.

The aim of the meeting, which was held upon the initiative of the two advisory Committees, was to give the advisory bodies the opportunity to discuss EEA matters with Ministers in connection with the EEA Council meetings.  The meeting was well attended by representatives from both committees who were briefed by the EEA EFTA Ministers on the discussions of the EEA Council earlier that morning.  This was followed by questions and comments from members of both committees.

The Norwegian Chair informed that this would become a regular feature in the EEA work and take place once a year.  This will undoubtedly strengthen the dialogue between the governing and advisory bodies under the EEA Agreement.

Following this, Liechtenstein Ministerial Chair of the EFTA Council also met with the Consultative Committee to discuss recent developments in EFTA third-country relations.

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