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PR(00)09: The EFTA surveillance authority requests liechtenstein and norway to comply with EEA rules

16.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has sent one Reasoned Opinion each to Liechtenstein and Norway for failure to comply with EEA Rules.

The Reasoned Opinions were issued pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 31 of the Agreement between the EFTA States on the Establishment of a Surveillance Authority and a Court of Justice, and after having given the concerned Governments the opportunity to submit its observations. The purpose of a Reasoned Opinion is to give the States in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides to bring the matter before the EFTACourt.

Liechtenstein:  Failure to comply with Article 31 of the EEA Agreement.

Article 31 of the EEA Agreement stipulates that within the framework of the provisions of the EEA Agreement, there shall be no restrictions on the freedom of establishment of nationals of an EC Member State or an EFTA State in the territory of any other of these States.  This shall also apply to the setting up of agencies, branches or subsidiaries by nationals of any EC Member State or EFTA State established in the territory of any of these States.

The so-called single practice rule in Liechtenstein is as follows:

If a person wishes to establish her/himself as a medical practitioner or a dentist in Liechtenstein, she or he needs a concession.  In order to be granted a concession, the person in question is required to have no other practice beside the practice she or he intends to establish in Liechtenstein.

This single practice rule implies that a doctor or a dentist once established in an EEA State would be able to enjoy the freedom of the EEA Agreement to establish her/himself in Liechtenstein only at the price of abandoning the establishment she/he already has.

The Authority must conclude that by preventing EEA nationals having a practice in another EEA State from establishing themselves as doctors or dentists in Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 31 of the EEA Agreement on freedom of establishment.

Norway: Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 3(1), second sentence, 3(2), 4(1), first sentence, 4(3), 4(4), first sentence, 6(1), first sentence, 9(3) and 14(1), third and fourth sentence of the Act referred to in point 19a of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (Directive 94/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on deposit-guarantee schemes), as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA

Agreement. Norway was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 July 1995.

The Authority has received information from Norway indicating that national measures considered to ensure full compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, based on a conformity assessment, the Authority has concluded that the notified measures do not ensure compliance with Articles 3(1), second sentence, 3(2), 4(1), first sentence, 4(3), 4(4), first sentence, 6(1), first sentence, 9(3) and 14(1), third and fourth sentence of the Directive.

The Deposit-Guarantee-Scheme Directive (94/19/EC), as incorporated in the EEA Agreement, lays down the obligation for EEA States to ensure that within their territories one or more deposit-guarantee schemes for credit institutions are introduced and officially recognised. The membership of such a scheme is mandatory for all credit institutions in the EEA.

For further information please contact Mr. Peter Dyrberg, telephone (+32) 2 286 18 30.

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