27th October 2022, room 15 at 12:30 pm.

in Collegium Civitas Building, University of Opole


TITLE: Decision shaping instead of decision making – Venues for associated neighbouring countries to influence EU law and policies

The European Union (EU) has over time developed close relations, typically taking the form of acquis-based association agreements, with the countries in its Western and Eastern neighbourhood. The most far-reaching model of such association is the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA Agreement comprises the EU-27 and the EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and it covers in particular the four freedoms of the internal market and some horizontal and flanking policies. The governance of the EEA is based on an elaborate two-pillar system with the EFTA pillar partially matching the institutions on the EU side. The two pillars are linked through a few joint bodies.

Every year around 550 EU acts are incorporated into the EEA Agreement. How does this takeover work? To what extent can the EEA EFTA States shape these legal acts? And how do the institutional rules of the EEA affect the autonomy of the EEA EFTA states? These questions are the focus of the lecture. It will provide an in-depth insight into the procedures and institutional arrangements of the EEA. It will also draw lessons on the opportunities and limits of external differentiated integration.

Christian Frommelt is Director of the Liechtenstein Institute in Gamprin-Bendern (Liechtenstein). Before he used to work as the Brexit coordinator for the Liechtenstein government. He holds a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich as well as a Master’s degree from the University of Innsbruck. His research focuses on the European Economic Area (EEA) and the political system of Liechtenstein.