EFTA.A

EFTA Council

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Abstract

The EFTA Council documents concern the workings of the Council which is the highest governing body of the Organisation.

Administrative and Biographical History

The EFTA Council is the highest governing body of EFTA. The Council usually meets eight times a year at the ambassadorial level (heads of permanent delegations to EFTA) and twice a year at Ministerial level.
In the Council meetings, the delegations consult with one another, negotiate and decide on policy issues regarding EFTA. Each Member State is represented and has one vote, though decisions are usually reached through consensus.
The Council discusses substantive matters, especially relating to the development of EFTA relations with third countries and the management of free trade agreements, and keeps under general review relations with the EU third-country policy and administration. It has a broad mandate to consider possible policies to promote the overall objectives of the Association and to facilitate the development of links with other states, unions of states or international organisations. The Council also manages relations between the EFTA States under the EFTA Convention. Questions relating to the EEA are dealt with by the Standing Committee in Brussels.