Introduction

DEEA: Delegation for relations with Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, EEA and the North

The European Parliament´s delegation for Northern cooperation and for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and to the European Economic Area (EEA) Joint Parliamentary Committee covers:
  1. Bilateral relations with Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, and specifically with those countries' parliaments.

  2. Multilateral dialogue with the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee, which comprises members of the national parliaments of the EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), on topics related to the European Economic Area (EEA)

  3. All the EU's northern policies and relations with northern parliamentary groups. The policies focus on the Arctic, the Northern Dimension Policy, the Baltic Sea and the Barents regions. The Nordic parliamentary bodies include the Nordic Council and the West Nordic Council.

Members and Chair

The Delegation counts 17 full members, and the same number of substitute members.

The Chair of the Delegation is Andreas Schwab, a German Member of the EPP Group. He is supported by two Vice-Chairs: Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE) and Claudia Gamon (Renew, AT).

Switzerland, Iceland and Norway

Once a year, the Delegation holds bilateral meetings with the partner parliaments of Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

These usually focus on 4-6 topics of importance for current bilateral relations between the EU and the country concerned. Each of these topics is introduced by "key speakers" - usually representatives from the EU institutions and the national authorities. The introduction is followed by an exchange of views with all the delegates.

The meeting's conclusions are often issued as joint press releases, which are published on this website.

European Economic Area

The European Economic Area Joint Parliamentary Committee (EEA JPC) is the official forum that brings together the European Parliament (through the DEEA Delegation) and the parliaments of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee scrutinises the EEA's executive branch and enhances discussions on topical political issues of mutual interest, particularly concerning foreign policy (trade, defence and security) and global issues (terrorism, climate change, migration).

The Joint Committee's views are expressed in the form of reports and resolutions. The latter are addressed - with the accompanying reports - to the EEA institutions (EEA Joint Committee and the EEA Council), to the European Parliament and to the parliaments of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

The EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee is composed of 12 members drawn from the European Parliament's DEEA delegation and 12 parliamentarians from Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. Members of the Swiss Assembly participate in the meetings as observers.

The official Committee meetings, as well as other inter-parliamentary meetings, are hosted on a rotating basis by European Parliament and by the partner parliament.

Focus on the North

The Delegation also joins a number of bodies that focus on the North:

  • the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (and its Standing Committee),
  • the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (and its Standing Committee),
  • the Barents Parliamentary Conference
  • the Nordic Council (as an observer)
  • the West Nordic Council.

All these forums focus on issues of regional cooperation, ranging from economic and cross-border topics to broader foreign policy matters.

At these meetings, the European Parliament's DEEA delegation is represented by its Chair or by a sub-delegation composed of a small number of MEPs, with the exact number determined by the invitation to the conference.

Participants' views sometimes take the form of conference resolutions, which are then published online.

The European Parliament also participates in the Northern Dimension Parliamentary Forum. This is the parliamentary arm of the Northern Dimension, a joint policy shared by the EU, Russia, Iceland and Norway. This forum takes place once every two years. Each meeting usually produces a final statement.

Finally, members of the European Parliament's DEEA delegation meet annually with members of the West Nordic Council, a joint forum for Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Discussions here generally focus on North Atlantic cooperation and Arctic policies. Meetings last from half a day to a maximum of two days, depending on the agenda and whether the delegation will also be meeting with local counterparts.

Section 3, Article 95 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area

Agreement on the European Economic Area

Section 3: Parliamentary cooperation
Article 95

1. An EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee is hereby established. It shall be composed of equal numbers of, on the one hand, members of the European Parliament and, on the other, members of Parliaments of the EFTA States. The total number of members of the Committee is laid down in the Statute in Protocol 36.

2. The EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee shall alternately hold sessions in the Community and in an EFTA State in accordance with the provisions laid down in Protocol 36.

3. The EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee shall contribute, through dialogue and debate, to a better understanding between the Community and the EFTA States in the fields covered by this Agreement.

4. The EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee may express its views in the form of reports or resolutions, as appropriate. It shall, in particular, examine the annual report of the EEA Joint Committee, issued in accordance with Article 94(4), on the functioning and the development of this Agreement.

5. The President of the EEA Council may appear before the EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee in order to be heard by it.

6. The EEA Joint Parliamentary Committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.