EFTA |European Free Trade Association|,|1960|,|Overview|

EFTA’sEuropean Free Trade Association” was created on 3rd May 1960. Its founding member was Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

Free trade associations were joined in 1970 by Iceland, and in 1991 by Liechtenstein. It was a less binding economic association whose object was the elimination of customs duties and other obstacles to trade between the member states. Finland joined it as an associate member on 27the March 1961.

EFTA member countries

It was established as an answer to the European Economic Community (EEC). The Success of the European Economic Community (EEC) proved that it is an effective power for other states outside the community. It has no supra-national character. it is a kind of economic cooperation.

EFTA Member Countries:

Nowadays the organization has 4 member countries.

  • Iceland.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • Norway.
  • Switzerland.

EFTA Objectives:

The main objective of EFTA was to abolish trade tariffs and quota restrictions by 1970 among the member states. The highest governing body was the council of ministers whose decisions must be unanimous.

Its ultimate aim was the creation of a single market that would embrace all members of the organization of European Economic cooperation.

Britain the founder member, Norway, and Denmark joined the EEC in 1973 and Portugal joined in 1986. Austria, Sweden, and Finland left the European Free Trade Association on 31st December 1994 to become a member of the European Union.

EFTA was basically established for free trade in industrial goods and an expansion of trade in agricultural goods between its member states and to contribute to the liberalization and expansion of world trade.

EFTA Headquarter:

EFTA headquarter

EFTA Headquarters is located in Geneva Switzerland.

Organization Structure:

EFTA Council:

In the Council meetings, the delegations discuss with one another, negotiate and determine coverage troubles concerning Association. Each Member State is defined and agreements are made by consensus.

The Council discusses important subjects, specifically relating to the improvement of the European free trade relationship with the developing nations. It has a massive mandate to bear in mind feasible guidelines to promote the general goals of the Association and to facilitate the improvement of links with different states, unions of states, or international companies.

The Council moreover manages members of the organization of the various organization States below the EFTA Convention. Questions regarding the EEA are treated by means of manner of the Standing Committee in Brussels.

The European free trade Council is the best governing frame of the free trade Association. The Council generally meets 8 times a year on the ambassadorial level (heads of durable delegations to EFTA) and once a yr at the ministerial level.

Standing Committees:

It has ten standing committees. The standing committee works for a different purpose to improve the organization in the region.

EFTA Secretariate:

The everyday proceeding of the Secretariat is headed through the Secretary-General primarily based in Geneva, who’s assisted by three Deputy Secretaries-General, one based totally in Geneva and the alternative two in Brussels. The four posts are appointed by using the EFTA Council and shared among the Member countries.

The division of the Secretariat shows the department of European free trade actions. The Secretariat employs about 90 organization members, of whom a third are based in Geneva and two third in Brussels and Luxembourg.

All staff members of the Secretariat are hired on 3-year contracts, renewable one time. Although employed at the Secretariat, a team of workers individuals are servants of the organization and therefore now not accountable to their national governments.

The Headquarters in Geneva deals with the management and negotiation of free exchange agreements with non-EU states, and offer assistance to the EFTA Council.

In Brussels, the Secretariat gives assistance for the control of the EEA Agreement and helps the Member States with improving the latest legislation for integration into the EEA Agreement. The Secretariat also assists the Member States in the discussion of input to EU selection-making.

The Association Statistical Office in Luxembourg contributes to the development of a vast and consolidated European Statistical System.

The EFTA Secretariat is a place of equality and mutual recognition amongst employees, who will be dealt with pretty and experience equal possibilities. The EFTA Secretariat has a Gender Equality Policy, which aims to make sure identical conditions and possibilities for personnel at the Secretariat, completely free from gender bias, and elevate recognition of gender equality in all of the work of the Secretariat.

With Offices in Brussels, Geneva, and Luxembourg, the Secretariat of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) offers opportunities for enormously specialized and certified groups of workers aiming at advancing free trade and economic cooperation between its member states, within Europe and globally.


EFTA Activities
  • Free trade association first targeted the creation of free trade in industrial goods between its members was achieved by the end of 1966.
  • By 1991 tariffs or import duties had been removed on all imports except agricultural products.
  • An agreement between European free trade and European Community came into force which established free trade in most industrial goods between them from 1 July 1977. The last restrictions of free industrial trade were abolished from 1st Feb 1984.
  • In April 1984 ministers from all free Trade and European Community member states agreed on a general guideline for developing free trade association and European Union relations. The Luxemburg declaration recommended intensified efforts to promote the free movement of goods between their states and close cooperation in a number of fields including research and development.
  • In March 1989 Association issued a declaration reaffirming its commitment to establishing a European Economic Area (EEA), consisting of all member states of the European Community and Association, which was concluded in October 1991. It entered into force on 1 January 1994.
  • Many Agreements are signed for cooperation among many states in the field of free trade


The EFTA is an intergovernmental organization established for the merchandising of free trade and financial integration for the interest of its 4 Member States: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The Association is based totally on the EFTA Convention and a worldwide system of multilateral trade and partnership agreements.

What is EFTA?

The EFTA is an international organization of four countries. They are Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The main objective of the free trade association is to promote free trade between its member countries.

What are the 4 EFTA countries?

The four EFTA countries are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

How many countries are in EFTA?

There are four countries in EFTA. The name of the member states are