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What is European Economic Area? How is it different from European Unio...

  Aug 14, 2016

What is European Economic Area? How is it different from European Union?

The Agreement on the European Economic Area, which entered into force in 1994, brings together the EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States — Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway — in a single market, referred to as the "Internal Market".
The EEA agreement also states that when a country becomes a member of the European Union, it shall also apply to become party to the EEA Agreement (Article 128), thus leading to an enlargement of the EEA.The EEA Agreement provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the four freedoms — the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital — throughout the 31 EEA States. In addition, the Agreement covers cooperation in other important areas such as research and development, education, social policy, the environment, consumer protection, tourism and culture. The Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Internal Market for citizens and economic operators in the EEA.
The EEA Agreement does not cover the following EU policies:
• Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies (although the Agreement contains provisions on various aspects of trade in agricultural and fish products);
• Customs Union;
• Common Trade Policy;
• Common Foreign and Security Policy;
• Justice and Home Affairs (even though the EFTA countries are part of the Schengen area); or
• Monetary Union (EMU).