Important legal notice
Home | Sitemap | F.A.Q. | Glossary | Contact | Search on EUROPA  

Summary of Treaty

Official Title Agreement on the European Economic Area - Final Act - Joint Declarations - Declarations by the Governments of the Member States of the Community and the EFTA States - Arrangements - Agreed Minutes - Declarations by one or several of the Contracting Parties of the Agreement on the European Economic Area
Type of Agreement Bilateral
Place of Signature Oporto
Date of Signature 02/05/1992
Date of Entry Into Force 01/01/1994
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement To establish a dynamic and homogeneous European Economic Area, based on common rules and equal conditions of competition and providing for the adequate means of enforcement including at the judicial level, and achieved on the basis of equality and reciprocity and of an overall balance of benefits, rights and obligations for the Contracting Parties.
Remarks Since 1 May 2004, the European Economic Area (EEA) has united the 25 EU Member States and the three EEA EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) in an Internal Market governed by the same basic rules. These rules aim to enable goods, services, capital, and persons to move freely about the EEA in an open and competitive environment. The objective of the EEA Agreement, as laid down in Article 1, is to promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relations between the contracting parties with a view to creating a homogenous European Economic Area. In order to ensure the same conditions for businesses across the entire Internal Market, the EEA Agreement covers competition and state aid rules. It also contains horizontal provisions relevant to the four freedoms, as well as cooperation outside the four freedoms in areas such as research and technological development, information services, education, training and youth, employment, and civil protection, including EEA EFTA participation in EU programmes. The EEA Agreement does not cover matters relating to the common agricultural and fisheries policies, foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs, which are covered where appropriate by bilateral agreements. The Agreement has many accompanying protocols. It has been amended several times, one of the first amendments relating to the non-participation of Switzerland which voted against EEA membership in a referendum. See the consolidated text and amendments to the Agreement on the EEA website:
OJ Reference L1, 03/01/1994, p. 3
Contracting Parties European Coal and Steel Community, European Economic Community, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Authentic Texts Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Subject Matters EC association agreement
EFTA countries
European Economic Area
External Relations
cooperation policy
ratification of an agreement
Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Article 22 Convention
Suspension Article 102 Agreement
Management Joint Committee
Joint Parliamentary Committee
Conclusion Decision Decision of the Council and the Commission of 13 December 1993 on the conclusion of the Agreement on the European Economic Area between the European Communities, their Member States and the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the Swiss Confederation; OJ L1 of 03/01/1994, p.1
Competence Mixed
Legal Basis Treaty EEC: Article 238

Last Update :   08/08/2007