European Free Trade Association

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Related to European Free Trade Association: European Union, European Economic Area

European Free Trade Association

European Free Trade Association (EFTA), customs union and trading bloc; its current members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. EFTA was established in 1960 by Austria, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Iceland joined in 1970, Finland in 1986, and Liechtenstein in 1991. This group was known through the 1960s as the “outer seven” as opposed to the “inner six” members of the European Economic Community (EEC, or Common Market; after 1967 part of the European Community [EC], which is now the European Union [EU]). It was organized largely on the initiative of Great Britain in an attempt to solve economic problems posed by the development of the EEC and Britain's exclusion from it.

EFTA began with two goals: to establish free trade among members and to seek a broader economic union with the rest of Western Europe. The first was accomplished in 1966, when most of the intra-EFTA tariffs were abolished. Negotiations toward the second goal began in 1961, when Great Britain sought entry into the EEC. Its bid was rejected (1963) by France; however, later discussions succeeded, and in 1973 Denmark and Great Britain left EFTA to join the EC. The same negotiations produced a trade accord between the newly expanded EC and the remaining members of EFTA. In 1986, Portugal also left EFTA for the EC. The development of a single market between the EU and most EFTA nations was completed in 1994, when the European Economic Area (EEA) came into being. EFTA members Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU in 1995, but in Norway the voters rejected a similar move.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The four European Free Trade Association countries include Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The statistics were based on data gathered before the European Union's recent expansion from 15 to 25 countries and from the European Free Trade Association (Efta) countries; Switzerland, Iceland, Liechrenstein and Norway that are not EU members.
Singapore has already signed FTAs with the United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and the European Free Trade Association. It is currently negotiating with several other countries including Canada and India for similar pacts.
He cites the government of Norway's invocation of the principle to ban Kellogg's Corn Flakes on the grounds that the vitamins added to the cereal might constitute a health hazard when eaten in unforeseen amounts (the decision was later overturned by a court of the European Free Trade Association).
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority has stated that Iceland is in breach of its third generation (3G) mobile services licence obligations.
What's more, the numbers game has its own historical antecedents--in the strategic maneuvering within western Europe, pitting Britain's Seven (the European Free Trade Association, or EFTA) against France and Germany's Six (formerly the EEC, or European Economic Community, now the EU, once the Empire of Charlemagne), in the late 1950s and the 1960s.
According to the ESA, the supervisory institute of EFTA (the European Free Trade Association), the different tax levels break EEA competition laws.
Asgrimsson also proposed a free trade accord between Japan and the European Free Trade Association and Tanaka said she will relay his proposal to concerned parties.
Following a Decision from the Joint EU/EEA Committee modifying Protocol 31 to the EEA Agreement on co-operation in specific fields outside the EU's four freedoms (free movement of people, goods, services and capital), European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries may now take part in the EU's Altener programme for promoting renewable sources of energy (1998-2002).
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority has decided not to raise any objections to a new Environment Fund set up by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment.
For instance, the EC and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which comprises seven Western European countries, are discussing the formation of a 19-nation European Economic Area.
Additionally, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), consisting of Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, joined the ISO 9000 bandwagon adopting the same standards and requirements for registration as the EC.

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