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UiA researcher to evaluate experiences with EEA Agreement in government-appointed committee

Associate Professor Anne Elizabeth Stie at the University of Agder will participate and assess the experiences from European Economic Area (EEA) cooperation.

Photo of the EU flag and the Norwegian flag
The committee was given a broad mandate to review the EEA cooperation over the past decade, other relevant agreements Norway has with the EU, and to provide advice on how Norwegian interests can best be safeguarded in cooperations with the EU. (Credit: iStockpohoto)

On Friday 6 May, Stie was appointed by the Government as one of seven members of an independent committee to assess the experiences of EEA cooperation over the past ten years.

“It is great to be invited. It is an important issue, and especially considering that the Ukraine war may have lasting significance for European history”, says Associate Professor Anne Elizabeth Stie at the Department of Political Science and Management.

She has extensive experience in research on the EU and democracy issues.

“I look forward to discussing the EEA cooperation with the other members of the committee”, Stie says.

Foto av Stie

Associate Professor Anne Elizabeth Stie at the University of Agder will participate and assess the experiences from EEA cooperation.

10 years since previous review

The work starts in May, and the committee will present a report by the end of 2023. This was announced in a press release by the Government.

There, Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said this about the committee’s work:

“It has now been ten years since the last review of the EEA Agreement. It has been ten years of rapid development in Europe, in the EU and in the EEA cooperation. We will now seek to get the best possible knowledge base about the EEA Agreement and the scope of action that the agreement gives us in these changeable times in Europe.”

The committee is composed of members from the world of work, the municipal sector and academia.

Broad mandate

“The goal now is to get a factual and balanced report that explains what the agreement means in practice. Important national priorities and schemes are influenced by the EEA. This applies to the efforts to prevent social dumping, for example, and the need for a national energy policy. I expect that we will get a thorough review of this, so we can plan the strategy forward”, says Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.

The Government has given the committee a broad mandate to review the EEA cooperation over the past decade, other relevant agreements Norway has with the EU, and to provide advice on how Norwegian interests can best be safeguarded in cooperations with the EU. The committee will also look at the experiences the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada have with their cooperation agreements with the EU.

The committee’s work will be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an Official Norwegian Report (NOU) by the end of 2023.

The committee will be chaired by department head at the United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) Line Eldring, who has extensive research experience from FAFO on topics related to the EEA and the world of work.

  • Department Head Line Eldring, Oslo (chair)
  • Lawyer Stig Eidissen, Tromsø
  • Professor Halvard Haukeland Fredriksen, Bergen
  • Retired Diplomat Oda Helen Sletnes, Oslo
  • General Manager Christian Anton Smedshaug, Bærum
  • Associate Professor Anne Elizabeth Stie, Kristiansand
  • Director Knut Erling Sunde, Oslo