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PR(09)17: The Authority publishes its Annual Report for 2008


The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today published its Annual Report for 2008. The report shows that the Authority issued a high number of letters of formal notice and an unprecedented high number of reasoned opinions. As in 2007, these figures were largely driven by infringement cases concerning the incorporation of regulations in Iceland.

Iceland has been particularly hard hit by the financial crisis in 2008. National authorities have taken drastic measures in order to control the situation and the Authority is monitoring the developments closely.

Important decisions have been taken by the Authority in the area of energy and the environment, among others, the approval of the Norwegian government’s participation in the carbon capture and storage (CCS) test centre at Mongstad in Norway. Furthermore, a full scale CCS facility at Kårstø was approved in early 2009. These projects have an important European and climate change dimension. Moreover, national allocation plans (NAPs) of the EFTA States for CO2 quotas have to be approved by the Authority before such states can participate in the European emission trading system (ETS). The Authority decided last summer to raise objections to the Norwegian plan and an amended draft law is now under assessment in the Authority. The Liechtenstein NAP was approved at the end of 2007. Iceland is not required to submit a NAP.

In 2008 the Authority has been able to reduce further the number of old cases, although there still is a high number of pending cases. Lead time for the processing of new cases, was also shortened. 619 cases were pending at the end of the year, a reduction of 46 compared to the previous year. The number of complaint cases remained stable in 2008. 143 of the pending cases are now based on complaints. This constitutes about 23% of the total case load.

In an effort to enhance public confidence, the Authority also revised its policy on transparency by adopting new rules on access to documents and launching a public document register.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Inge Hausken Thygesen,
Press & Information Officer, Legal and Executive Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66, or (+32)(0)475 81 37 59


Brussels, 24 February 2009

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