Estonia’s Foreign Minister Sven Mikser Chaired Meeting Of The EEA On Behalf Of The EU

Synergy Between EEA Countries Strengthens A Common Voice

Sven Mikser 2014

Estonia’s Foreign Minister Sven Mikser chaired the meeting of the European Economic Area Council (EEA) on behalf of the EU. The impact of UK’s withdrawal on the single market, the Eastern Partnership and cooperation in the field of data economy were discussed with the ministers of the EEA EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

“Great cooperation between the EU and the EEA EFTA states and synergy between the countries’ positions on foreign policy and other important issues makes our common voice stronger on the world stage,” the minister said. “The EU highly appreciates it,” he emphasized.

During the Council’s political discussion, ministers discussed the impact Brexit will have on the EEA. “We take into account that the negotiations do not concern only the EU Member States, but also the EFTA states as members of the single market,” Mikser said. EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, participating in the discussion, gave partners an overview of the current state of negotiations.

Concerns of the EEA EFTA countries on UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the EEA were also discussed.

Speaking about the Eastern Partnership, Mikser emphasized the importance of the partnership as well as dialogue on it with the EEA ETA states. “We appreciate your principled position on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the partner countries and support for the countries’ reforms,” Mikser said. Mikser also gave an overview of preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit taking place on 24 November and the situation in Ukraine.

The EEA Council also focused on opportunities to develop the European data economy, which is one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Digital technologies have great economic potential. If we manage to guarantee favourable political and legal conditions, the value of the EU data economy could reach €739 billion by 2020,” Mikser noted.

The EEA Council meets twice a year. Foreign Minister Mikser led the EU delegation, while Liechtenstein’s Foreign Minister Aurelia Frick did the same on behalf of the EFTA countries.

Minister of EEA and EU Affairs of Norway Marit Berger Røsland and Foreign Minister of Iceland Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson also attended the Council.

Note: The Agreement on the European Economic Area, which entered into force on 1 January 1994, brings together the EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States — Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway — in a single market.

[Source: Republic of Estonia/Ministry of Foreign Affairs -/- Media Relations]
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