New President of Efta Surveillance Authority

Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen will take over the presidency of the Efta Surveillance Authority on 1 January 2018. 'We look forward to continuing our close, constructive dialogue with the Authority under Ms Angell-Hansen's leadership,' said Minister of EEA and EU Affairs Marit Berger Røsland.

Ms Angell-Hansen is currently Norway's Ambassador to Austria, and will take over as the Norwegian member of the College and President of the Efta Surveillance Authority from Sven Erik Svedman.

The key task of the Efta Surveillance Authority (Esa) is to ensure that the EEA/Efta countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein comply with EEA legislation. This includes monitoring the implementation of EEA legislation in national law, and its enforcement by national and local authorities.

Esa is led by a College made up of three members, one from each of the three EEA/Efta states. As of 1 January, the College will consist of Högni S. Kristjánsson from Iceland and Frank J. Büchel from Liechtenstein, in addition to Ms Angell-Hansen. The College makes decisions on the basis of a simple majority. The European Commission, for its part, is responsible for ensuring that the EEA Agreement is complied with in the EU countries. The EEA Agreement sets out that the European Commission and Esa are to cooperate closely in this respect.

Ms Angell-Hansen joined the Foreign Service 38 years ago, and has served as Ambassador to the UN based in Geneva and as Ambassador to Hungary. She has also worked at the Prime Minister's Office. From 2011 to 2014, she was Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the highest ranking senior official in the Ministry.

The formal appointment of Ms Angell-Hansen as member of the College and President of ESA will be made today, but she will not take up her new position until 1 January 2018.

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