Having met the European Council in Brussels today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, the Prime Ministers of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway issued the following statement:
1. We reaffirm our shared values of democracy, individual freedom, the rule of law and human rights, and a common commitment to open societies and open economies. We rededicate ourselves to building a peaceful and economically strong Europe for future generations.
2. For 25 years, the EEA Agreement has guaranteed equal treatment, legal certainty and predictable conditions for citizens and businesses. The two-pillar structure ensures uniform interpretation and application of EEA law through parallel institutions for surveillance and judicial review. The overall balance between rights, obligations and benefits is key to maintaining the integrity of the EEA.
3. The EEA Agreement also provides a framework for extensive rules-based multilateral cooperation in Europe. It promotes prosperity, innovation, competitiveness and general welfare, and plays a key role in fostering high social, consumer and environmental standards.
4. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute actively to shaping EEA relevant EU legislation and programmes through their participation in EU committees and expert groups.
5. The EEA is a manifestation of solidarity among the countries of Europe in overcoming shared social and economic challenges. The EEA and Norway Financial Mechanisms are making a lasting contribution to reducing social and economic disparities in the EEA and supporting a free and vibrant civil society, to the benefit of Europe as a whole.
6. During the last 25 years, Europe has undergone profound changes. The positive spirit of cooperation has allowed for adaptations and pragmatic solutions to meet our common challenges. Taking stock of these achievements, we reconfirm our support for the EEA Agreement as the cornerstone of our relations with the European Union.