(Source: Council of the EU)
The Council adopted today a decision authorising the opening of negotiations with Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein and the Kingdom of Norway for an agreement on the future financial contribution of the EEA EFTA States to social and economic cohesion in the European Economic Area.
The Council also adopted negotiating directives which constitute a mandate to the Commission for the negotiations.
On the basis of this mandate, negotiations should now be conducted and concluded swiftly, in order to ensure that the instruments for adopting the above arrangements enter into force as soon as possible, taking into account the timeline of the next seven-year-period for the EU cohesion policy instruments.
Following the expiry of the EEA and Norway Financial Mechanisms 2014-2021 on 30 April 2021, the new mechanism for financial contributions from the three partner countries will be aimed at alleviating social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area in the period 2021–2027.