EEA solidarity contributions and Norway, Iceland fisheries deals backed by MEPs
Financial solidarity contributions by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to the European Economic Area and fisheries trade deals with Norway and Iceland were backed by MEPs on Thursday.
- Three countries to contribute with €2.8 billion in 2014-2021
- EU-Norway, EU-Iceland fish trade protocols renewed
- MEPs push for solution on high Norwegian import duties
The latest European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanism agreement with the three countries and a separate EEA deal with Norway together provide €2.8 billion in 2014-2021 “to reduce economic and social disparities” within the EEA.
The review of the EU-Iceland and EU-Norway fisheries trade protocols renews existing arrangements, with a modest quota increase for some products over the same period.
MEPs backed these four agreements with 570 votes to 38 with 23 abstentions.
"By approving this report, we are strengthening the already excellent relations with these countries and hope to move closer to resolving the remaining trade issues. This will help to conclude future agreements beneficial for both sides. The EU is looking forward to working with such important trading partners" said rapporteur David Borrelli (EFDD, IT) after the vote.
The two agreements and two protocols have provisionally applied since July and August 2016 respectively.
In another debate on Wednesday MEPs quizzed the Commission and the EU External Action Service about developments since Norway imposed high duties on EU cheese, lamb and beef in 2013, which Parliament views as a breach of the relevant trade agreement.
The EEA agreement enables Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to participate in the EU single market, with the exception of agriculture and fisheries, and the three countries contribute financially to the EEA.
The previous solidarity mechanisms expired in April 2014. In 2014-2021, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will benefit from the two financial instruments.
- Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein participate in the EU single market with the exception of agriculture and fisheries.