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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)


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(European Free Trade Association)

Established in May 1960 on a British initiative in response to the establishment of the EEC. It was a free trade area without the EEC's commitment to further political union, whose original members were Austria, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Though subsequently joined by Liechtenstein, Finland, and Iceland, the EFTA was too small and its members too diverse to be able to compete successfully with the EEC. In 1973, the UK and Denmark left to join the EEC, followed by Portugal (1986), Austria (1995), Finland (1995), and Sweden (1995). From 1994, EFTA (with the exception of Switzerland) states were linked to the European Union in the European Economic Area. This created extensive freedom of goods and services between member states, but it did not give EFTA states the right to decision‐making within the European Union. Since 1995, then, EFTA has been a very heterogeneous and loose alliance of four disparate member states (Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland).

 European integration http://www.efta.intThe official website of EFTA.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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