2. The competent authority, on its own initiative or at the request of an EC Member State or EFTA State, examines the rates and conditions covered in paragraph 1, taking into account, among other things, the requirements of an adequate regional economic policy, the needs of underdeveloped regions and, on the one hand, the problems faced by regions severely affected by political circumstances. , and the impact of these tariffs and conditions on competition between different modes of transport, on the other hand. In the areas of the protection of human and animal health and animal welfare, the implementation of the principles set out in Articles 3, 7 and 13 and the rules on royalties applicable to formal and carried out controls is decided by the EEA Joint Committee in accordance with Article 93, paragraph 2, of the agreement. Recalling the importance of developing the social dimension, including equal treatment between men and women, in the European Economic Area and in promoting economic and social progress and promoting conditions of full employment, improving living standards and improving working conditions in the European Economic Area; For the purposes of imputing individual cases covered by Article 56 of the agreement, a “business" is considered to be any entity engaged in commercial or economic activities. This agreement does not prejudge the right of each party to amend its domestic legislation in the areas covered by this agreement, without prejudice to the principle of non-discrimination and after information from the other contracting parties: 26) joint statement regarding the mutual assistance of the supervisory authorities in the field of spirits; The EEA agreement was signed in Porto on 2 May 1992 by the seven states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the European Community (EC) and its twelve Member States at the time.   On 6 December 1992, Swiss voters opposed ratification of the agreement by constitutional referendum and virtually froze the application for EC membership submitted earlier this year. Instead, Switzerland is bound to the EU by a series of bilateral agreements. On 1 January 1995, three former EFTA members – Austria, Finland and Sweden – joined the European Union, which the European Community had replaced with the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty on 1 November 1993. Liechtenstein`s participation in the EEA was postponed until 1 May 1995.  Any European state that becomes a member of the European Union or becomes a member of EFTA may, in accordance with Article 128 of the agreement, apply to become a party to the EEA agreement.
 The possibility of maintaining bilateral social security agreements after the expiry of transitional periods for the free movement of persons may be the subject of bilateral discussion between Switzerland and the States concerned; 2. The EEA Joint Committee makes decisions by mutual agreement between the Community on the one hand and the EFTA States, which speak with one voice on the other. In particular, the EEA Joint Committee is doing everything in its power to find a solution acceptable to both parties when a serious problem arises in all areas under the jurisdiction of the legislature in the EFTA states. This protocol does not complement or impede the implementation of mutual assistance agreements concluded or likely to be concluded between EC and EFTA states and between EFTA states. Nor does it exclude broader mutual assistance provided under such agreements. In 2016, the UK voted to withdraw from the EU and, in fact, the EEA agreement, a process known informally as Brexit, and a two-year window of opportunity to negotiate the terms of the withdrawal were triggered. But since September 2019, Brexit has not yet happened. There is currently an October deadline.