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European Economic Area (EEA)

The European Economic Area (EEA) is an international agreement dating back to 1992 which allows EFTA countries (which at that time still included Austria, Finland and Sweden) access to the single market provided rules around free movement of people, goods service and capital are adhered to.  It isn’t compulsory for EFTA countries – Switzerland opted not to join the EEA – but being an EFTA member is a pre-requisite for EEA membership.  Countries in the EEA have access to the Single Market and adopt most EU legislation but aren’t in the customs union, and are able to enter into their own trade agreements with non-EU countries.

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