European Economic Area

EEAEuropean marketEuropean Economic Area (EEA)EEA AgreementEEA Member StateEU marketAgreement on the European Economic AreaEEA citizenEEA countriesEEA membership
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 (EU)'s single market to non-EU member parties.wikipedia
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Iceland

IcelandicISLRepublic of Iceland
Membership has grown to 31 states as of 2016: 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
In 1994, it became a part of the European Economic Area, which further diversified the economy into sectors such as finance, biotechnology, and manufacturing.

Norway

NorwegianKingdom of NorwayNOR
Membership has grown to 31 states as of 2016: 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
Norway is also a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, and the Nordic Council; a member of the European Economic Area, the WTO, and the OECD; and a part of the Schengen Area.

Liechtenstein

Principality of LiechtensteinLIEFürstentum Liechtenstein
Membership has grown to 31 states as of 2016: 28 EU member states, as well as three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations, the European Free Trade Association, and the Council of Europe, and although not a member of the European Union, it participates in both the Schengen Area and the European Economic Area.

Switzerland

SwissSwiss ConfederationSWI
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.
It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone.

Switzerland–European Union relations

bilateral agreementSwitzerland and the European Unionbilateral treaties
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.
Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and took part in negotiating the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement with the European Union.

European Economic Community

European CommunityEECCommon Market
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.
This agreement also extended the internal market to include most of the member states of the European Free Trade Association, forming the European Economic Area, which encompasses 15 countries.

European Union

EUEuropeanEurope
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 (EU)'s single market to non-EU member parties.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established ... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union."

Membership of United Kingdom in the European Economic Area

single market membershipUK inclusion in the EEA remains unresolved
The United Kingdom is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) since 1 January 1994, following the entry into force of the 1992 EEA Agreement (as adjusted by a 1993 protocol).

European Free Trade Association

EFTAEuropean Free Trade Association (EFTA)Member states of the European Free Trade Association
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.
To participate in the EU's single market, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA), with compliances regulated by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court.

Freedom of movement for workers in the European Union

rights of free movementfreedom of movement for workersfreedom of movement
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 citizens of the member states of the European Economic Area (which includes the EU) have the same right of freedom of movement in the EEA as EU citizens do within the Union.

1994 Norwegian European Union membership referendum

1994 referendum1994referendum
Furthermore, Austria had applied for full EEC membership in 1989, and was followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland between 1991 and 1992 (Norway's EU accession was rejected in a referendum, Switzerland froze its EU application after the EEA agreement was rejected in a referendum).
According to John Erik Fossum, a political science professor at ARENA, Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, "the fact that Norway had already signed the EEA agreement made it easier for people to vote no because they knew that Norway had assured EU market access."

1992 Swiss referendums

1992 referenduma 1992 referenduma December 1992 referendum
The final referendum was held on 6 December on a federal resolution on the European Economic Area, and was narrowly rejected.

2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum

2016 referendum2016 EU referendumBrexit referendum
The UK, in a 2016 referendum, voted to withdraw from the European Union.
Some residents of the Isle of Man protested that they, as full British citizens under the British Nationality Act 1981 and living within the British Islands, should also have been given the opportunity to vote in the referendum, as the Isle and the Bailiwicks, although not included as if they were part of the United Kingdom for the purpose of European Union (and European Economic Area (EEA)) membership (as is the case with Gibraltar), would also have been significantly affected by the outcome and impact of the referendum.

Common Agricultural Policy

agricultureCAPCommon Agriculture Policy
The EFTA members do not participate in the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy.
"This CAP reform was not intended to address the trade barriers used to keep some EU market prices higher than world market levels. The EU has reduced the effect of these barriers for a number of developing countries through extending the scope of preferential access under various trade agreements, and a further reduction is being negotiated in the WTO Doha Round. Nonetheless, developing countries will be disappointed that the opportunity was not taken in this reform to set a final date for the ending of export subsidies. A more ambitious CAP reform, in which the targeting of direct payments was pursued more insistently and coupled payments were phased out, would also have a greater effect in removing the remaining distortions caused by the CAP to world markets."

European Single Market

internal marketsingle marketfree movement of goods
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. In January 2017, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives and confirmed that the UK government would not seek continued permanent membership in the single market.
The market encompasses the EU's 28 member states, and has been extended, with exceptions, to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Agreement on the European Economic Area and to Switzerland through bilateral treaties.

Brexit

United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Unionleave the European Unionleave
The UK, in a 2016 referendum, voted to withdraw from the European Union.
Brexit is likely to reduce immigration from European Economic Area (EEA) countries to the UK, and poses challenges for UK higher education, academic research and security.

Microstates and the European Union

European microstatesEU's relations with the sovereign European microstatesEU relationships with Europe's Microstates
In November 2012, after the Council of the European Union had called for an evaluation of the EU's relations with the sovereign European microstates of Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, which they described as "fragmented", the European Commission published a report outlining options for their further integration into the EU.
It is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), and is recognized as an official candidate for accession to the Union, though the negotiations have been suspended.

European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority

EFTA Surveillance AuthorityEEAEFTSA
Rather than setting up pan-EEA institutions, the activities of the EEA are regulated by the European Union institutions, as well as the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court.
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors compliance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) States which are a part of the EEA Agreement, allowing them to participate in the Internal Market of the European Union.

European Union law

EU lawEuropean lawlaw of the European Union
As a counterpart, these countries have to adopt part of the Law of the European Union.
Sweden, Finland and Austria joined in 1995, but Norway again chose not to after a 1994 referendum, instead remaining part of the European Economic Area, abiding by most EU law, but without any voting rights.

EFTA Court

European Free Trade Association CourtEuropean courtsCourt of Justice of the European Free Trade Agreement States
Rather than setting up pan-EEA institutions, the activities of the EEA are regulated by the European Union institutions, as well as the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court.
The Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Association States (more commonly known as the EFTA Court) is a supranational judicial body responsible for the three EFTA members who are also members of the European Economic Area (EEA): Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Theresa May

MayPrime Ministernew Prime Minister
In January 2017, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives and confirmed that the UK government would not seek continued permanent membership in the single market.
In June 2012, Theresa May announced that new restrictions would be introduced to reduce the number of non-European Economic Area family migrants.

Iceland–European Union relations

Accession of Iceland to the European UnionIcelandIcelandic EU membership
Iceland is heavily integrated into the European Union via the European Economic Area and the Schengen Agreement, but it is not a member state.

2013 enlargement of the European Union

Accession of Croatia to the European Unionaccession to the European Unionacceded to the EU
Croatia's accession to the EU obliges them to apply for membership in the European Economic Area (EEA).

National identity cards in the European Economic Area

National identity cards in the European Unionnational identity cardnational identity cards
Citizens holding a national identity card, which states EEA or Swiss citizenship, can use it as an identity document within their home country, and as a travel document to exercise the right of free movement in the EEA and Switzerland.

Norway–European Union relations

Norwegian membershipNorwayNorway and the European Union
It is associated with the Union through its membership in agreements in the European Economic Area (EEA) established in 1994, and by virtue of being a founding member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which was founded in 1960, one of the two historically dominant western European trade blocs.