EU relations with non-EU Western European countries: Council approves conclusions

The Council today approved conclusions on a homogeneous extended internal market and EU relations with non-EU Western European countries and with the Faroe Islands.

The conclusions, which are usually adopted every two years, assess EU relations with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra, San Marino and Monaco, as well as the Faroe Islands as a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark to which the EU treaties do not apply.

In its conclusions, the Council recalls the weight and importance the EU attaches to its close relationship with non-EU Western European countries as like-minded partners who are highly integrated with the EU and with whom the EU shares fundamental values and interests.

The Council underlines the importance of unity regarding Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, notes the excellent cooperation with the non-EU Western European countries in areas of EU external action, and highlights the need to continue and enhance joint work on the global arena to strengthen a multilateral rules-based world order and address shared priority issues, including human rights, peace and security, and the fight against climate change.

The Council further recalls the close economic integration and interdependence between the EU and its non-EU Western European partners within the framework of the extended EU internal market. In this regard, it highlights that it is the responsibility of all the states which participate in the extended internal market to ensure its integrity and homogeneity, as well as full respect for equal rights and obligations for both citizens and businesses.

Among other areas, the Council conclusions also address cooperation with non-EU Western European countries in the fields of the security of energy supplies and infrastructure, justice and home affairs, and the management of fish stocks in the North-East Atlantic.

In addition, the conclusions assess cooperation within the European Economic Area, where 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the entry into force of the EEA Agreement, as well as bilateral cooperation with each of the countries concerned.