The EEA Council recognised that the current economic crisis was a common concern, and reaffirmed the need for responsibility and solidarity among the countries of Europe in tackling the challenges ahead. The parties noted the urgency to continue discussions between the EU and EFTA sides on how to ensure that the significant volume of legislation being adopted in the EU in the financial services field is dealt with and included in the EEA Agreement.
The EEA Council also encouraged the parties to continue efforts to reduce the number of outstanding legal acts.
Furthermore, the EEA Council reiterated the importance of maintaining close cooperation between the EU and the EEA EFTA States in environment, energy and climate change polices. The importance of cooperation for the development of future-oriented energy technologies was also underlined.
The EEA Council looked forward to the upcoming review in 2013/14 of the conditions of trade in agricultural products between Norway and the EU with a view to open negotiations within the framework of Article 19.
The accession of Croatia to the EU is expected on 1 July 2013, and the EEA Council welcomed the application of Croatia to become a Party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
The EEA Council met under the Presidency of Mr Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The meeting was attended by Mr Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein, and Mr Andreas D. Mavroyiannis, Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus for European Affairs, representing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as by Members of the Council of the European Union and Representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service.
Link to the EEA Council Conclusions.
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