A Meeting of Minds Between ELI and ESA


Cultivating Relations with EFTA Surveillance Authority

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has been a longstanding Institutional Observer of the ELI. Among its numerous contributors, the November–December 2017 ELI  Newsletter saw Sven Erik Svedman, ESA’s outgoing President, opine ‘I trust that the ELI, as an independent organisation  with  an  extensive  network  of  experts,  will  remain  an  important and trustworthy actor in ensuring the quality of European law, and look forward to a more solid cooperation between ESA and the ELI in future.’

True to form, current ESA President Bente Angell-Hansen, accompanied by Catherine Howdle, Deputy Director of the Legal Department, paid the ELI a visit on 8 April 2019. They were welcomed by ELI President Wendehorst and Secretary General Wilcox. The meeting comes shortly after President of the EFTA Court Páll Hreinsson’s contribution to the January–February 2019 cover of the ELI Newsletter. Like Hreinsson, Angell-Hansen commended the ELI for its achievements in improving the quality of law in Europe.

The meeting presented an opportunity for discussions on possible avenues to strengthen mutual aims. Discussions centered on the independence of the judiciary, access to justice and the current global political climate, with the ELI inviting ESA to join its project on Common Constitutional Traditions in Europe.

ESA monitors compliance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, enabling those States to participate in the Internal Market of the European Union. ESA is independent of the States and safeguards the rights of individuals and undertakings under the EEA Agreement, ensuring free movement, fair competition and control of state aid. ESA's work helps remove barriers to trade and open up new opportunities to over 500 million Europeans, creating jobs and growth and adding to the international competitiveness of the States.

At 25 years old this year, the ELI has much to learn from ESA. Here is wishing it continued success!