Thirty-sixth meeting of the EEA Council in Brussels
The thirty-sixth meeting of the EEA Council took place in Brussels on 15 November 2011. At its meeting, the EEA Council assessed the overall functioning of the EEA Agreement, including maintaining and enhancing the homogeneity of the EEA; decision making and shaping; energy and climate change; the financial mechanisms; and the financial crisis and its implications for EEA cooperation, including regulation of the financial system. The EEA Council held an orientation debate on measures taken to address the current economic crisis.
EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees met on 20 and 21 October 2011
The EFTA Standing Committee and EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 20 and 21 October respectively. Liechtenstein was Chair both of the Standing Committee and, on behalf of the EEA EFTA States, of the Joint Committee.
Standards for finer particles set within the EEA
The EEA Joint Committee has decided to incorporate a European directive on ambient air quality into the EEA Agreement. The directive deals with and sets standards for reducing concentrations of finer particles released into the atmosphere, which are believed to be the source of many health problems. It aims at improving human health and environmental quality before the year 2020.
Highlights from Subcommittees I-IV and Joint Subcommittees I-IV meetings on 18 October 2011
Delegates were given a presentation on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, with a particular focus on the impact of the proposed financial framework for the EEA EFTA States in terms of budgetary procedures and economic contributions, as well as programme participation and national experts.
Encouraging investment in cultural and creative content
Yesterday, EFTA hosted a workshop organised by CEPI, EUROCINEMA, FERA, IMPALA and SAA on the finance and taxation of the cultural industry. The Commission also gave a brief outline on how the new media and culture programme, for 2014-2020, may look like.
Intelligent Transport Systems incorporated into EEA Agreement
The EEA Joint Committee has today decided to incorporate a framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) into the EEA Agreement. These systems use information and communication technologies to make transport safer and cleaner, and can also be used to reduce traffic congestion. ITS applications include warning systems that alert the emergency services of any accidents.
EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees meet on 29 and 30 September 2011
The EFTA Standing Committee and EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 29 and 30 September respectively. Liechtenstein was Chair both of the Standing Committee and, on behalf of the EEA EFTA States, of the Joint Committee. The Standing Committee welcomed Mr Atle Leikvoll as the new Norwegian Ambassador to the EU and Ms Oda Helen Sletnes as the new President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
Highlights from the Subcommittee I-IV meeting in Iceland
The Subcommittees noted that the Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preferential Rules of Origin has been opened for signature, and that national ratification by the EFTA Member States is expected to be completed by early 2012.
EEA EFTA States welcome the modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway today welcomed the efforts of the European Union to modernise and simplify the Directive on Professional Qualifications, adopted in 2005. In the EEA EFTA comment to the recent European Commission’s Green Paper, they recognise the importance of this process in encouraging the mobility of professionals in the European Union and throughout the entire European Economic Area (EEA).
EEA EFTA States support a single European transport market
The EEA EFTA States welcome the overall goal and strategy set out in the European Commission‘s White Paper on a Single European Transport Area. In their comment to the March 2011 paper, they fully support the EU‘s efforts to achieve a single European transport market by removing barriers, taking a multimodal approach and emphasising safety and security in the transport sector.