Rådskonklusjoner om det indre marked og europeiske ikke-EU-medlemsland, inkludert EØS-avtalen
Rådskonklusjoner om et homogent utvidet indre marked og EUs forbindelser med vest-europeiske land som ikke er medlemmer av EU og med Færøyene
Council Conclusions on a homogeneous extended Internal Market and EU relations with non-EU Western European countries and with the Faroe Islands
BAKGRUNN (fra Rådets pressemelding 20.6.2022)
Council conclusions on a homogeneous extended single market and EU relations with Non-EU Western European countries and with the Faroe Islands
- In accordance with its conclusions of 11 December 2018, the Council has assessed the overall state of EU relations with the following Western European countries that are not members of the EU: the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Principality of Andorra, the Principality of Monaco, and the Republic of San Marino. The Council has also assessed the state of EU relations with the Faroe Islands as a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark and to which EU treaties do not apply.
- Following its conclusions of 19 February 2019, the Council will revert to the overall state of EU relations with the Swiss Confederation.
- The Council will reassess the state of these relations in two years, as appropriate.
The Western European Neighbours of the European Union
- The non-EU Western European countries are the EU's closest partners in building a stronger, safer, greener, more competitive and prosperous Europe. The Council recalls the weight and importance the EU attaches to relations with all these special, like-minded partners that are highly integrated with the EU. Our long-standing cooperation is based on shared fundamental values and interests and underpinned by our common heritage and history, as well as strong cultural and geographical ties.
- The Council recognises the importance of unity regarding the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine. It commends the alignment of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway with EU statements and restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. The Council welcomes the decisions taken by Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, as well as the Faroe Islands, to implement equivalent restrictive measures. It also expresses appreciation for other actions in line with the EU and its Member States to counter the military aggression by the Russian Federation, including in the multilateral fora.
- Economic integration within the framework of the extended EU Internal Market brings us together even more and frames the inter-dependency of our future prosperity and Competitiveness. In the last four years, our close relations have been further enhanced by a Number of initiatives across a wide range of strategic areas.
- The Council reiterates that the strength of our economic integration depends on full respect for the four freedoms of the Internal Market. It is therefore the responsibility of all the States which already participate or wish to increase their level of participation in the extended Internal market to ensure its integrity and homogeneity, as well as full respect for equal rights and obligations for both citizens and businesses.
- The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the necessity and advantages of standing united and tackling common challenges together. The EU Digital COVID Certificate system, used by the EEA EFTA States and, following the adoption of equivalency decisions, by Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino, as well as the Faroe Islands, successfully facilitated cross-border travel. The high degree of integration through the EEA Agreement provides us with excellent tools to address these challenges jointly with the EEA EFTA States. Further challenges caused by the pandemic require a well-functioning Internal Market, including the Digital Single Market, and strong investments in key industrial sectors, which will be essential for sustaining economic recovery. With Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the need for further integration. The Council welcomes Andorra, Monaco and San Marino’s participation in the EU Health Security Committee and supports participation in Joint Procurement Agreements to procure medical countermeasures for serious cross-border threats to health.
- The Council is fully committed to stepping up global efforts to tackling climate change, pursuing sustainable energy transition, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility, and protecting biodiversity and the environment as a whole. Continued close cooperation between the EU and the EEA EFTA States, as well as enhanced dialogue with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, on these issues is very important.
- The Council notes the excellent cooperation in areas of EU external action such as the common foreign and security policy (CFSP), development aid, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and stresses the importance of close and systematic political dialogue. The Council expresses its strong appreciation for the alignment of its closest non-EU Western European partners to the EU's common foreign and security policy instruments and positions, most recently the strong support of EU positions at multilateral level, and the restrictive measures imposed following the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine as of 24 February 2022. The Council looks forward to the further continuation of this strong alignment with CSFP declarations and restrictive measures which is key for European unity and global security.
- The Council highlights the need to continue and enhance cooperation in international fora between the EU and its non-EU Western European partners to further strengthen multilateral, rules-based world order and work jointly on shared priority issues, including human rights, gender equality, peace and security, and fight against climate change.
- By virtue of their geographical and political proximity, the EU and its non-EU Western European neighbours face common security challenges and are interdependent when it comes to ensuring national and regional stability. In this context, we underline the importance of the energy security and also cooperation and mutual support in the field of security of energy supplies, which is a particularly relevant example of the interdependence in the EEA. The Council strongly welcomes the EU's cooperation with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the area of justice and home affairs and encourages the EEAS and the Commission to explore opportunities in this respect with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.
- The Council takes note of the unilateral actions by some parties and the consequent challenges for the joint management of fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic. Maintaining the important economic benefits these stocks provide, and avoiding overexploitation and subsequent stock declines, urgently requires comprehensive and fair management regimes to be agreed, involving all Parties having a management responsibility for these stocks, including Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.