European Economic Area

  •      eu and eea member state     efta and eea member state     eea agreement continues to be applicable until 2021 (united kingdom)     eu member state: eea agreement provisional application (croatia)     original eea agreement signatory efta state outside of the eea (switzerland)
         eu and eea member state     efta and eea member state     eea agreement continues to be applicable until 2021 (united kingdom)     eu member state: eea agreement provisional application (croatia)     original eea agreement signatory efta state outside of the eea (switzerland)
    • institutions
    •  • governance
    •  • regulators
    •  • courts
      • eea joint committee

      • eea council
      • ec
      • efta sa
      • ecj
      • efta court
    member states[2][3]
    establishment
    • eea agreement signed
    2 may 1992
    • entry into force
    1 january 1994
    area
    • total
    4,944,753 km2 (1,909,180 sq mi)
    population
    • 2017 estimate
    515,000,000
    gdp (nominal)2018 estimate
    • total
    us$20 trillion[4][5]
    • per capita
    us$40,000

    the european economic area (eea), which was established via the eea agreement in 1992, is an international agreement which enables the extension of the european union's single market to non-eu member parties.[6] the eea links the eu member states and three european free trade association (efta) states (iceland, liechtenstein, and norway) into an internal market governed by the same basic rules. these rules aim to enable free movement of labour, goods, services, and capital within the european single market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area. the eea was established on 1 january 1994 upon entry into force of the eea agreement. the contracting parties are the eu, its member states, and three efta member states.[7]

    the eea treaty is a commercial treaty and differs from the eu treaties in certain key respects. according to article 1 its purpose is to "promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relation". unlike the eu treaties, there is no mention of "ever closer union". the efta members do not participate in the common agricultural policy or the common fisheries policy.

    the right to free movement of persons between eea member states and the relevant provisions on safeguard measures are identical to those applying between members of the eu.[8][9] the right and rules applicable in all eea member states, including those which are not members of the eu, are specified in directive 2004/38/ec[9] and in the eea agreement.[8]

    the eea agreement specifies that membership is open to member states either of the eu or of the efta. efta states that are party to the eea agreement participate in the eu's internal market without being members of the eu or the european union customs union. they adopt most eu legislation concerning the single market, with notable exclusions including laws regarding the common agricultural policy and common fisheries policy.[10] the eea's "decision-shaping" processes enable eea efta member states to influence and contribute to new eea policy and legislation from an early stage.[11] third country goods are excluded for these states on rules of origin.

    when entering into force in 1994, the eea parties were 17 states and two european communities: the european community, which was later absorbed into the eu's wider framework, and the now defunct european coal and steel community. membership has grown to 30 states as of 2020: 27 eu member states, as well as three of the four member states of the efta (iceland, liechtenstein and norway).[7] the agreement is applied provisionally with respect to croatia—the remaining and most recent eu member state—pending ratification of its accession by all eea parties.[3][12] the uk ceased to be an eea member after it withdrew from the eu on 31 january 2020, and entered into a transition period ending 31 december 2020. during the transition, the eea agreement will remain unchanged, and continue to apply as before, to both the remaining eea members and the uk, as the uk will continue to be treated as if an eea state.[13] one efta member, switzerland, has not joined the eea, but has a set of bilateral agreements with the eu which allow it also to participate in the internal market.

  • origins
  • membership
  • future enlargement
  • withdrawal of the united kingdom
  • rights and obligations
  • legislation
  • institutions
  • eea and norway grants
  • see also
  • references
  • external links

     EU and EEA member state     EFTA and EEA member state     EEA Agreement continues to be applicable until 2021 (United Kingdom)     EU member state: EEA Agreement provisional application (Croatia)     Original EEA Agreement signatory EFTA state outside of the EEA (Switzerland)
     EU and EEA member state     EFTA and EEA member state     EEA Agreement continues to be applicable until 2021 (United Kingdom)     EU member state: EEA Agreement provisional application (Croatia)     Original EEA Agreement signatory EFTA state outside of the EEA (Switzerland)
  • Institutions
  •  • Governance
  •  • Regulators
  •  • Courts
Member states[2][3]
Establishment
• EEA Agreement signed
2 May 1992
• Entry into force
1 January 1994
Area
• Total
4,944,753 km2 (1,909,180 sq mi)
Population
• 2017 estimate
515,000,000
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
US$20 trillion[4][5]
• Per capita
US$40,000

The European Economic Area (EEA), which was established via the EEA Agreement in 1992, is an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union's single market to non-EU member parties.[6] The EEA links the EU member states and three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) into an internal market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable free movement of labour, goods, services, and capital within the European Single Market, including the freedom to choose residence in any country within this area. The EEA was established on 1 January 1994 upon entry into force of the EEA Agreement. The contracting parties are the EU, its member states, and three EFTA member states.[7]

The EEA Treaty is a commercial treaty and differs from the EU Treaties in certain key respects. According to Article 1 its purpose is to "promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relation". Unlike the EU Treaties, there is no mention of "ever closer union". The EFTA members do not participate in the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy.

The right to free movement of persons between EEA member states and the relevant provisions on safeguard measures are identical to those applying between members of the EU.[8][9] The right and rules applicable in all EEA member states, including those which are not members of the EU, are specified in Directive 2004/38/EC[9] and in the EEA Agreement.[8]

The EEA Agreement specifies that membership is open to member states either of the EU or of the EFTA. EFTA states that are party to the EEA Agreement participate in the EU's internal market without being members of the EU or the European Union Customs Union. They adopt most EU legislation concerning the single market, with notable exclusions including laws regarding the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.[10] The EEA's "decision-shaping" processes enable EEA EFTA member states to influence and contribute to new EEA policy and legislation from an early stage.[11] Third country goods are excluded for these states on rules of origin.

When entering into force in 1994, the EEA parties were 17 states and two European Communities: the European Community, which was later absorbed into the EU's wider framework, and the now defunct European Coal and Steel Community. Membership has grown to 30 states as of 2020: 27 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).[7] The Agreement is applied provisionally with respect to Croatia—the remaining and most recent EU member state—pending ratification of its accession by all EEA parties.[3][12] The UK ceased to be an EEA member after it withdrew from the EU on 31 January 2020, and entered into a transition period ending 31 December 2020. During the transition, the EEA agreement will remain unchanged, and continue to apply as before, to both the remaining EEA members and the UK, as the UK will continue to be treated as if an EEA state.[13] One EFTA member, Switzerland, has not joined the EEA, but has a set of bilateral agreements with the EU which allow it also to participate in the internal market.