New water quality standards
A directive on environmental quality standards for surface water was among the 27 legal acts incorporated into the EEA Agreement on 20 May 2011. The EU directive from 2008 aims to improve the protection of rivers, lakes and coastal waters against pollution from a wide range of chemical substances.
EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees meet on 19 and 20 May 2011
The EFTA Standing Committee and EEA Joint Committees met in Brussels on 19 and 20 May 2011 respectively. The EEA EFTA States met in the Standing Committee to prepare for the EEA Joint Committee. On high level meetings and EFTA activities, the Icelandic delegation informed the Standing Committee about the meeting of the Minister of Economy with his counterparts in ECOFIN, the Norwegian delegation reported on Foreign Minister Støre's meeting with his Hungarian counterpart Martonyi, and the EFTA Secretary-General reported on third-country relations.
Highlights of Subcommittees I-IV meeting 16 May 2011 – EU Flagship Initiatives, the Single Market Act
The Subcommittees continued discussions on the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade System, the EU 2020 Flagship Initiatives, the Single Market Act and Comitology.
EEA EFTA Comment on the future programmes in the field of education, training and youth
Reducing the number of dropouts and securing the completion of studies and the quality of education and training at all levels should have high priority in future EU programmes in the field of education, training and youth (2014-2020), according to comments presented today by the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
Aviation and emission trading: EU scheme extended to the EEA
On 1 April 2011, the EEA Joint Committee decided to incorporate into the EEA Agreement a directive that will include aviation activities in the EU trading scheme for greenhouse gas emissions (EU ETS), thus extending the scope of the scheme to the EEA EFTA States.
EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees meet on 31 March and 1 April 2011
The EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees met in Brussels on 31 March and 1 April 2011 respectively. In preparation for the meeting of the EEA Joint Committee, the EEA EFTA States met in the Standing Committee to verify and approve the 73 legal acts to be incorporated into the EEA Agreement. One of the decisions relates to the inclusion of aviation activities in the EU Emissions Trading System (see separate news item).
Highlights of Subcommittees I-IV meeting – EP IMCO Committee, EU 2020 Strategy and EU Research and Innovation Funding
In their meeting on 21 and 22 March 2011, Subcommittees I-IV discussed developments in comitology, a comprehensive assessment of the EU 2020 Strategy and its impact for the EEA EFTA countries as well as the Commission Communication dealing with the expansion and development of the Internal Market Information System or “IMI”.
TBT Committee comment on review of the European Standardisation System
EFTA's Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee is the body in EFTA following the ongoing European Commission review of the European Standardisation System. The Commission is expected to present its “Standardisation Package” in April this year.
EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committee meetings - 10 and 11 February 2011
The EFTA Standing and EEA Joint Committees met on 10 and 11 February 2011, respectively. In the Standing Committee the EEA EFTA States prepared for the meeting of the EEA Joint Committee and discussed the decisions to be adopted into the EEA Agreement, which included energy saving requirements for lightbulbs and other electrical equipment, and a regulatory framework on common rules in the field of civil aviation security providing harmonised aviation security rules across the European Union.
Highlights of Subcommittees I-IV Meeting – the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, Comitology and EU Relations with EFTA Countries
The Subcommittees continued their focus on the seven flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 Strategy, inviting the European Commission to present the proposal for a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion in their meeting on 1 February 2011. They also discussed several horizontal issues of importance to the EEA Agreement.