European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority

European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority

European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority

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Description:
The European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority performs the executive role of the European Commission in the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which are part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The authority is tasked with ensuring laws and regulations are properly enacted by members, challenging them before the EFTA Court if necessary. The Authority has its headquarters in Brussels (Belgium) and its working language is English. Enterprises and individuals can, however, address the Authority in any official EEA language.

Establishment

The original plan for the EEA lacked the EFTA Surveillance Authority, and instead had the European Commission exercising this role. However, during the negotiations for the EEA agreement, the European Court of Justice informed the Council of the European Union by way of letter that they considered that giving the EU institutions powers with respect to non-EU member states would be a violation of the treaties, and therefore the current arrangement was developed instead.

Functions

The Authority takes on many of the roles performed by the European Commission within the EU, though only for the three EFTA EEA states and on a smaller scale. It also differs in that it does not propose new law or policy as the Commission does.

The primary task of the Authority is ensuring relevant EU law is properly transposed and...
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