Welcome from the Chair

Welcome to the website of DEEA - the European Parliament's Delegation for Northern cooperation and for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee.

DEEA ensures democratic oversight of the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, though the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee. It also covers the EU's bilateral inter-parliamentary relations with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Furthermore, DEEA deals with the EU's Northern policies and relations with various parliamentary forums of the North. During the 8th parliamentary term, the delegation constructively participated in activities of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) and its Standing Committee. The European Parliament hosted the Fifth Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum and maintained close contacts with the Nordic Council and the West-Nordic Council. Regarding the Arctic, it is our intention to keep the subject high on the agenda of the delegation, as requested by decisions of Parliament and its committees.

In 2019, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the EEA Agreement, the best free trade and cooperation deal that the EU ever made available to its partners. The EEA agreement has brought numerous benefits to our citizens and has opened up new opportunities for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, our excellent cooperation has allowed for necessary flexibility in a world that is increasingly complex and constantly changing.

Twice per year, the DEEA Members meet with their counterparts from Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (as observers) in the framework of the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee to exchange views and provide substantive input and orientations to the executive branch of the EEA. Over the past years we have been able to develop our relationship further by establishing a deep political dialogue in areas of mutual interest, such as strengthening our citizens' rights; addressing the challenges of migration and refugees; boosting our cooperation in security and defence; following up the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change; and, last but not least, developing our dialogue on the future of the Arctic, Baltic and the High North.

The EEA EFTA States and Switzerland are our closest allies and like-minded partners in a very challenging global context. Our relations with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are therefore of the highest importance to the EU and we need to do our utmost to safeguard our special relationship!

Andreas SCHWAB

Latest news

20-11-2019 12:01

38th EU-Switzerland IPM; 27-28 November 2019, Strasbourg

The 38th EU-Switzerland Inter-parliamentary Meeting (IPM) will gather in Strasbourg on 27-28 November (meeting room SDM S 5). The EP will receive a delegation of nine Swiss parliamentarians, led by Mr Hans-Peter Portmann.

The 38th inter-parliamentary meeting will take place at a turbulent time in EU-Switzerland relations. After more than 4 year of negotiations, the EU and Switzerland concluded in autumn 2018 their Institutional framework agreement (IFA) to provide an overarching framework for more than 120 sector-specific agreements that cover the Swiss participation in many areas of the EU's internal market. Signature of the agreement by the Swiss side has been pending ever since, namely due to concerns of the social partners with regard to the wage protection in Switzerland. Consequently, EU has not extended its stock market equivalence for Switzerland and Switzerland has been blocking its long-overdue 1.3 bln CHF contribution to EU cohesion.

Broad and challenging agenda

In addition to an update on the state of play in the IFA, members of the IPM will discuss a range of issues relevant to partners as close as Switzerland and the EU, including Brexit, foreign policy issues (focus on Turkey and Western Balkans), the EU-Swiss trade agenda and migration policy.

Key experts will intervene in the above-mentioned debates, namely Mr Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General of the EEAS on IFA, member of the Brexit Steering group Ms Danuta Hübner on Brexit and AFET's standing rapporteurs for Turkey and Serbia on the foreign policy agenda.

Kontakter

Tatiana Mražíková (EFTA/EEA)

Aušra Rakštelytė (Northern cooperation)

Kristina Kniukštaitė (delegation assistant)