Foreign Minister Petersen meets the Dutch and the Luxembourg Foreign Ministers in the EEA Council

Foreign Minister Petersen met on 14 December with the Dutch Foreign Minister Bot and the Luxembourg Foreign Minister Asselborn in the EEA Council, to discuss foreign policy issues, the EEA cooperation, future enlargements of the EU/EEA and the EU neighbourhood policy.

15/02/2006 :: Among the foreign policy issues discussed were relations with Russia and Ukraine, the Middle East and relations with the African Union. On the EEA cooperation, Mr Petersen brought up issues such as the EU Gas Emissions Directive, the Directive on Trade in Services and trade defence measures initiated by the Commission on farmed salmon. On the EU Gas Emissions Directive, Mr Petersen welcomed the Commissions positive reply to link the Norwegian system for emissions trading to the EU system for the period 2005-2007. Regarding the Directive on trade in services, the Foreign Minister stated that given the importance of the directive for the EEA cooperation, it was important to have close contact with the EU Presidency and the Commission on this matter. On the salmon issue, Mr Petersen  reiterated that there was no basis for imposing safeguard measures against Norwegian farmed salmon in accordance with WTO rules. 

In the discussions on future EU enlargements, Mr Petersen underlined the importance of ensuring a parallel EU and EEA enlargement with Bulgaria and Romania, to maintain the homogeneity of the enlarged internal market. Regarding the EU neighbourhood policy, the Foreign Minister stated that one should explore how third party assistance to the countries covered by this policy could complement and reinforce the efforts of the EU. 

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