Glossary:European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

The European Free Trade Association, abbreviated as EFTA, is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1960 by seven European countries to promote free trade and economic integration to the benefit of its Member States. All original signatories except Norway and Switzerland withdrew from EFTA upon joining the European Union (EU), as did Finland which had become an associate member in 1961 and full member in 1986. As Iceland joined in 1970 and Liechtenstein in 1991 EFTA currently has four Member States:

Iceland (IS) Liechtenstein (LI)
Norway (NO) Switzerland (CH)

The association is responsible for the management of:

  • the free trade between the EFTA countries;
  • EFTA’s participation in the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the European Union and three EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtentstein and Norway, but not Switzerland);
  • EFTA’s worldwide network of free trade agreements.

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