About EFTA News
Martin Zbinden, new Deputy Secretary-General in Geneva
On 1 September 2014, Mr Martin Zbinden of Switzerland takes up the post of Deputy Secretary-General at EFTA’s Geneva office. Mr Zbinden will head the Association’s Trade Relations Division which supports the four Member States in the negotiation and management of their free trade agreements with countries outside the European Union.
Switzerland takes over chair of the EFTA Council
The EFTA Council met in Geneva on 7 July 2014. Switzerland, holding the rotating Council chair for the second half of the year, presented its priorities. The Council also reviewed the results of the Ministerial meeting in the Westman Islands, Iceland held on 23 June 2014.
EFTA Ministerial meeting, Westman Islands, Iceland, 23 June 2014
On 23 June 2014, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held its summer Ministerial meeting in the Westman Islands, Iceland. The meeting was chaired by Mr Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland. Ministers of the four EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) signed a joint declaration on cooperation with the Philippines, represented by Mr Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry.
EFTA Ministers to meet in the Westman Islands on 23 June 2014
At its meeting in Geneva on 12 June, the EFTA Council prepared for the summer EFTA Ministerial meeting that will take place on 23 June in the Westman Islands, Iceland. The Council also took stock of ongoing issues relating to EFTA’s free trade relations.
Keynote speech on Swiss-EU relations by Swiss State Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch
On 3 June 2014, Ms Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary and Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland, gave a keynote speech at a breakfast meeting hosted by the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels.
EFTA Council prepares for the summer Ministerial meeting
The EFTA summer Ministerial meeting that will take in Iceland was prominent on the agenda of the EFTA Council which met for the third time this year on 8 May. The Council also reviewed ongoing free trade relations with several countries outside the European Union.
EFTA Council Chair outlines priorities for first half of 2014
Iceland, holding the rotating Council Chair for the first six months of the year, presented its priorities at the first EFTA Council meeting of 2014 on 11 February. EFTA has an ambitious agenda in free trade negotiations and the Council discussed the latest negotiating round with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The EFTA-Eurostat Technical Cooperation Programme for 2014 was adopted at the meeting.
EFTA Council discusses TTIP and Bali results
On 11 December, the EFTA Council met for the last time in 2013. The members discussed inter alia, the TTIP process, EFTA’s negotiations with India and approved the budget for 2014.
EFTA Ministerial meeting, Geneva, Switzerland, 18 November 2013
On 18 November 2013, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) held its biannual Ministerial Meeting in Geneva. The meeting was chaired by Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein. The EFTA Ministers met with the Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy of the Philippines, Mr Adrian S. Cristobal Jr, to discuss options for developing closer trade relations between the two sides.
EFTA Secretariat renews Administrative Arrangement with Eurostat on Technical Cooperation in Statistics
The triennial administrative arrangement which has governed technical cooperation between the EFTA Secretariat and the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) since 2005 has just been renewed for the period 2014 to 2016.