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EFTA Court: Nine judgments against Iceland and Norway

19.12.2013

PR(13)95

In the last two months, the EFTA Court has delivered nine judgments, seven against Iceland and two against Norway, concerning breaches of the EEA Agreement.

All these cases were lodged by the EFTA Surveillance Authority in the summer of 2013 because of the failure by the two EFTA states to honour their obligations under the EEA Agreement and to implement the necessary changes to their laws or regulations on time. Eight more infringement cases, six against Iceland and two against Norway, will be sent to the EFTA Court early next year.

«Such delay or lack of implementation of EEA legislation has serious consequences for the internal market», Oda Helen Sletnes, President of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, said.

«A key purpose of the EEA Agreement is to ensure fair terms and equal conditions of competition for economic operators. I regret to note that in 2013, the Authority has had to lodge a record number of infringement cases before the EFTA Court. This is unfortunate and unnecessary and weakens the confidence in the EEA Agreement», Sletnes noted.

«The Authority now expects both Iceland and Norway to do what is necessary to execute the judgments from the EFTA Court. We will monitor closely how they will respect their obligations in the future», she said.

«On a positive side, we have noted that Iceland recently adopted new legislation in one of the cases and that draft bills have been submitted to the Icelandic parliament in four other cases. At the same time we regret having to go to the Court to achieve progress in such cases», she concludes.

Bringing a case before the EFTA Court is the last step in the EFTA Surveillance Authority's formal infringement procedure against an EFTA State. Prior to this, the state has been informed about the Authority's view and has had a chance to bring forward its arguments as well as to settle the case by complying within the applicable deadline.

See the list of judgments with a short description of each case

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Xavier Lewis
Director, Legal & Executive Affairs
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30

 




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