Delegates from the public sector in the EFTA countries gathered at Norway House in Brussels to learn more about the decision-making processes in the EU, and how the EFTA countries can shape the outcome of new legislation and policies.
The workshop was organised by the EFTA Secretariat and Iceland as part of its Chairmanship of the Standing Committee of the EFTA States in the first six months of 2018. Among the speakers were both public and private sector representatives, who shared their experiences and best practices. Some key lessons from the workshop were to start the process early, to allocate resources according to your priorities and to make use of informal arenas and networks.
Tómas Brynjólfsson, Director of Services, Capital, Persons & Programmes Division at the EFTA Secretariat, explains the importance of organising the workshop.
"It is particularly important that the EEA EFTA States take part in shaping EEA legislation as the EEA EFTA Member States are not involved in the voting process of the EU. We have therefore organised an in-depth workshop for our Member States in order to gain practical knowledge on how to influence the legislation our countries incorporate."
The EEA EFTA countries implement a substantial number of legal acts through the EEA Agreement. Since they do not take part in the decision making process in the EU, their line of influence is rather mandated by the EEA Agreement, particularly measures aimed at the development of legislative proposals. One of these formal channels of influence is the participation in European Commission expert groups, as well as in programme and comitology committees. National representatives in these groups assist the Commission and provide input on various matters.
Another formal channel of influence is the EEA EFTA comments. These express the common views of Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway on a specific legislative proposal, and are formally submitted to the institutions in question on the EU side.
Ambassadors of #Liechtenstein, Sabine Monauni, #Iceland, @BEllertsdottir & #Norway, @sletnes explain the work of their diplomatic missions to the #EU in #Brussels, with moderator @BrianMaguireEU pic.twitter.com/LvvHAzrhR8— EFTA Secretariat (@EFTAsecretariat) June 14, 2018
The EFTA Secretariat in Brussels, in close collaboration with the Member States and the EU side, organises seminars and workshops on various EEA and trade related matters on a regular basis. The next seminar in Brussels is scheduled for 13 September 2018 and will be an introductory seminar on the EEA Agreement.
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