Record numbers at EFTA’s introductory seminar to the European Economic Area

Published 02-10-2023

“It is wonderful to see that there continues to be a rich interest in learning more about how the EEA and the EEA Agreement function”, said Henri Getaz, Secretary-General at the EFTA Secretariat, in his opening remarks at the introductory seminar on the European Economic Area (EEA) on 28 September at EFTA House in Brussels.

The Secretary-General welcomed 125 people who attended the seminar in person and 134 participants who followed the seminar online. With a total of 259 people attending, EFTA has set a new participation record for the EEA Seminar.

The biannual event convenes officials from the ministries, agencies and companies in the EEA EFTA Member States, diplomatic representatives in Brussels and staff from the European Commission. Among the attendees were also other experts, stakeholders, junior professionals, students and individuals with a keen interest in the EEA. The participants received a comprehensive introduction to the EEA through keynotes, presentations and workshops.

Experts from the EFTA Secretariat, EFTA Surveillance Authority, EFTA Court and the EEA and Norway Grants delivered presentations focused on the processes that constitute the EEA Agreement and its related work. The topics included European cooperation, decision-making mechanisms, and functions of the EEA Agreement.

After lunch, the in-person participants chose between four break-out sessions running in parallel throughout the afternoon. Experts from EFTA, ESA and the EFTA Court led the specialised sessions, enabling participants to delve into important EEA topics in a more interactive way. This autumn, the workshops focused on the following topics:

· EU Agencies: Implications for the EEA Agreement and how to address them

· EEA Law: Incorporation, scope and application

· EEA Enforcement: Surveillance and Judicial Control – run by ESA and EFTA Court

· Decision Shaping: How EEA EFTA States can influence EU legislation making

The next EEA Seminar will take place in March 2024.


All photos from the Seminar are available here.


Slideshows from the presentations:

Functioning of the EEA Agreement and the role of the Secretariat - See the full recording here.

EEA: Introduction to the decision-making process - See the full recording here.

Parliamentarians, social partners and local/regional representation in the EEA - See the full recording here.

Introduction to EEA Enforcement: EFTA Surveillance Authority & EFTA Court - See the full recording here.

EEA and Norway Grants reduce disparities & strengthen cooperation in Europe - See the full recording here.

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