European Free Trade Association

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European Free Trade Association

Renata Culcean
1st year IBM
23th of November 2010

Table of contents

I. Foundation3

II. The Association is responsible for the management of:3

III. The EFTA States5

IV. Free Trade Agreements6

V. What is in an EFTA Free Trade Agreement?6

5.1 Agriculture6

5.2 Fish and other Marine Products7

5.3 Rules of Origin7

5.4 Public Procurement7

5.5 Intellectual Property Rights8

5.6 Competition Rules8

5.7 Services and Investment8

VI. Joint Committee9

VII. Dispute Settlement9

VIII. Ongoing negotiations or talks9

IX. Trade Relations9

X. 50 Years of EFTA10

Bibliography11

I. Foundation

EFTA was founded by the Stockholm Convention in 1960. The immediate aim of the association was to provide a framework for the liberalization of trade in goods amongst its Member States. At the same time EFTA was established as an economic counterbalance to the more politically driven EEC. Relations with the EEC, later the EC and the EU, have been at the core of EFTA activities from the beginning. In the 1970s the EFTA States concluded free trade agreements with the EC; in 1994 the EEA Agreement entered into force. Since the beginning of the 1990s EFTA has actively pursued trade relations with third countries in and beyond Europe. The first partners were the central and Eastern Europe countries, followed by the countries in the Mediterranean area. In recent years the EFTA network of free trade agreements has reached across the Atlantic as well as into Asia. EFTA was founded by the following seven countries: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Finland joined in 1961, Iceland in 1970, and Liechtenstein in 1991. In 1973, the UK and Denmark left EFTA to join the EC. They were followed by Portugal in 1986 and by Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995. Today the EFTA members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organization set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its four Member States.

II. The Association is responsible for the management of:

• The EFTA Convention, which forms the legal basis of the organization and governs free trade relations between the EFTA States; • EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade and partnership agreements (third country relations). The EFTA Convention and the EFTA free trade agreements are managed from the Geneva office, the EEA Agreement from the Brussels office) • The European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement, which enables three of the four EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to participate in the EU’s Internal Market. EFTA membership has fluctuated greatly. The original signers of the accord were: Austria, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. By 1997, however, EFTA had only four members: Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Iceland had joined in 1970, and Liechtenstein, which had joined as an associate member in 1960, became a full member in 1991. Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Portugal resigned to join the European Community (formerly the European Economic Community). Finland, formerly an associate member, became a full member in 1986 only to resign in 1994 to join the European Union (formerly the European Community.) Austria and Sweden also resigned in 1994 to join the European Union. EFTA was established by its members because of their dissatisfaction with the social and political goals of the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC was created by the Treaty of Rome for the purpose of gradually integrating its members' economies. Soon after its 1957 beginnings, however, the EEC's agenda began to gradually expand towards more social and...
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