The Foreign Minister of Iceland, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, and the Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway, Mr. Vidar Helgesen, met today in Reykjavík.
The Ministers emphasised that the EEA Agreement remains the main pillar of cooperation of the two countries with the EU. The Agreement is important in facilitating trade, market opportunities and economic growth. The Ministers reiterated the responsibility of all contracting parties to ensure the well-functioning of the EEA Agreement.
The Ministers underlined the new policies of the two governments that are intended to address opportunities as well as important challenges, in the EEA cooperation. They stressed the importance of addressing the challenges together, especially late incorporation of new EU legislation into the EEA Agreement as well as delayed implementation in national law. In order to ensure predictability and equal market access in the European market for businesses from Iceland and Norway, such delays need to be reduced to a minimum. Both governments will increase their efforts in this respect. Further, both Ministers stressed the importance of giving priority to taking part in decision-shaping when the EU discusses important new legislation for the European market.
In this context, the Ministers expressed their firm intention to further strengthen the cooperation between Iceland and Norway under the EEA Agreement, including information sharing, exchange of personnel and closer coordination on all levels, especially within prioritised sectors. The Ministers have instructed their staff to put such measures into effect as soon as possible.