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A Practical Guide to Enforcement Actions by the EFTA Surveillance Authority


30 May 2017 to 31 May 2017

Event Type

S - Workshop, course


Justice & Home Affairs

Event Location


Event Description

What is the course about?
According to Article 22 of the ESA / Court Agreement, the EFTA Surveillance Authority is responsible for monitoring the application of the EEA law rules by the EFTA Member States. The infringement procedure - Articles 31 to 33 of the ESA / Court Agreement - is the main enforcement mechanism allowing the EFTA Surveillance Authority to initiate proceedings against EFTA countries which are presumed to have failed to fulfil the obligation of proper transposition or application of the EEA rules.

This workshop provides a practical guide to the two phases of the procedure: the pre-litigation (or administrative phase), where the EFTA States are given the opportunity to voluntarily remedy the alleged breach of EEA law and/or explain their position to the EFTA Surveillance Authority, and the litigation (judicial) phase, in front of the EFTA Court in cases where the EFTA Surveillance Authority persistence of the breach. 

In the particular case of the EFTA countries, the workshop will identify the right methodology to improve the capacity and quality of their responses to the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s investigations on alleged infringements and to reduce therefore the risk of initiation of a judicial action.  In the potential scenario of the start of the judicial phase of the procedure, the workshop also reviews and identifies the defence strategies which are most likely to improve their position during the litigation. In case of a final condemnatory ruling after the procedure, the workshop also provides tips on how to comply with the judicial decision as swiftly as possible and hence avoid the initiation of a new procedure.

Finally, the various workshop proceedings will draw, where pertinent, an appropriate comparison between this infringement procedure and that specific to the EU. 

How will it help you?
This workshop will allow you to acquire a thorough command of the EFTA infringement procedure, enabling you to understand the role of the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the position of the EFTA countries. Thanks to practical descriptions and examples provided by the workshop, you will also get a good grasp of the capacities and prerogatives of both actors and the different respective administrative and procedural strategies they can resort to throughout the procedure. Moreover, this workshop is also conecived as a forum where you will be able to meet and exchange experiences with peers from other EFTA countries and EU Member States.

Finally, the program also features a study visit to the EFTA court. The workshop proceedings scheduled in the afternoon of the first day will take place at the Court’s premises.

Who will benefit the most?
This practice-oriented and interactive workshop targets civil servants of EFTA State Authorities, who are in charge of or involved in the implementation and / or application of the EEA law rules and those state officials and legal counsellors answering / preparing the defences of the EFTA States in all stages of the EFTA infringement procedure, irrespective of the level of government or origin of the case (i.e. national, regional and local level). The programme is also relevant to officials in the EU institutions, preparing and implementing EU legal instruments with EEA relevance, as well as private practicing lawyers, consultants and other interested actors from the private sector, who wish to update their knowledge of the EFTA enforcement actions procedure and obtain a comprehensive overview.


Find out more here