EEA EFTA States submit Comment on European Contract Law
In April 2010 the Commission set up an expert group on a Common Frame of Reference (CFR) to assist the Commission in making further progress on the development of a possible future European contract law instrument. In July that year the Commission also published a Green Paper on policy options for progress towards a European Contract Law for consumers and businesses, together with a consultation.
Better coordination of social security systems
A new regulation on the coordination of social security systems was incorporated into the EEA Agreement on 1 July 2011. Social security coordination rules have been a part of the EEA Agreement from the beginning. The new regulation aims at modernising and improving the coordination of national social security systems which is crucial in order to facilitate the free movement of persons in the EU and thus also in the EEA.
EEA wide historical aviation emissions
On 1 July 2011, the EEA Joint Committee decided on the EEA-wide historical aviation emissions which will be used to calculate the number of aviation allowances to be available from 2012. The EEA-wide historical aviation emissions are set at 221 420 279 tonnes of CO2.
New rules to strengthen the social protection of self-employed workers
A directive on strengthening the social protection of self-employed workers and of "assisting spouses" was incorporated into the EEA Agreement on 1 July 2011.
Iceland briefs EFTA Standing Committee on EU membership negotiations
The EFTA Standing Committee and EEA Joint Committee met in Brussels on 30 June and 1 July 2011 respectively. On 1 July, Liechtenstein took over the rotating chairs of both committees. In the Standing Committee, Iceland reported on the meeting of its Foreign Minister with several members of the European Commission in connection with the Iceland-EU Intergovernmental Conference. Norway reported on a recent meeting of the Prime Minister with his counterparts from Poland and Hungary, and the Liechtenstein delegation informed the Standing Committee of the visit by the EU Council’s EFTA Working Party to Liechtenstein in June.
Highlights of Subcommittees I-IV Meeting 14 June 2011 – The EU Standardisation Package, and EU initiatives under preparation
The Subcommittees discussed the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade System, EEA EFTA participation in EU Agencies and Comitology.
EFTA Seminar: The EEA and the EU’s Internal Energy Market
On 9 and 10 June 2011, around 90 participants from both the public and private sectors in the EEA met at the EFTA Secretariat in Brussels for its biannual seminar on the EEA.
EEA EFTA Comment on the Future of the EU PROGRESS Programme
A continued commitment to cross-cutting issues such as gender equality and non-discrimination and increased emphasis on mutual learning activities and broad stakeholder participation were among the recommendations suggested by the EEA EFTA States in the Comment they submittted to the Commission's Public Consultation on a possible successor to the EU Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS (2007-2013).
Data Protection and Security
Today, Science|Business organised a roundtable discussion in collaboration with the EFTA Secretariat on Data Protection and Security: How will new technologies change the policy debate?
35th meeting of the EEA Council
At its 35th meeting on 23 May 2011 in Brussels, the EEA Council discussed the overall functioning of the EEA Agreement, Europe 2020, energy and climate change, and the financial crisis and implications for EEA cooperation, including regulation of the financial system. The EEA Council noted the Council Conclusions of December 2010, in particular that EU relations with the EFTA countries, which were already considered to be very good and close in 2008, had further intensified over the past two years.