Created in 1994, the European Economic Area (EEA) brings together the countries of the European Union (EU) and the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) to facilitate participation in the European market of trade and movement without having to apply to be a member of EU countries. European Economic Area definition
Countries that belong to the EEA include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
European Economic Area (EEA)
The EEA includes EU countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.
Switzerland, a previous participant, was neither a member of the EU nor the EEA, but was part of the single market, so Swiss citizens have the same rights to live and work in EEA countries as other national EEA countries. However, Switzerland no longer participates in the European Economic Area. Now Croatia has submitted a request to participate. European Economic Area definition
What the EEA does: Member benefits
The European Economic Area is a free trade area between the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The details of the trade agreement stipulated by the AEA include freedoms over product, person, service and movement of money between countries.
In 1992, EFTA member states (except Switzerland) and EU members entered into this agreement and, in doing so, expanded the European internal market to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. At the time of its founding, 31 countries were members of the EEA, totaling approximately 372 million people involved and generating about 7.5 trillion dollars (USD) in the first year alone.
Today, the European Economic Area hands over its organization to various divisions, including legislative, executive, judicial and advisory, all of which include representatives from various EEA member states.
What the EEA means for citizens
Citizens of member countries of the European Economic Area can enjoy certain privileges not granted to non-EEA countries. European Economic Area definition
According to the EFTA Website , “Free movement of persons is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed in the European Economic Area (EEA). It is perhaps the most important right for individuals as it gives citizens of the 31 EEA countries the opportunity to live, work, establish business and study in any of these countries.”
Essentially, citizens of any member country can travel freely to other member countries, whether for short-term visits or permanent relocation. However, these residents still retain their citizenship of their home country and cannot apply for citizenship of their new residence.
In addition, EEA regulations also govern professional qualifications and the coordination of social security to support the free movement of persons between member countries. As both are necessary to maintain each country’s economies and governments, these regulations are critical to effectively allowing the free movement of people. European Economic Area definition
What Europe’s Schengen Zone Means for Travelers
The Schengen agreement in Europe also facilitates movement between countries and trade. If an American citizen is planning to visit or travel to European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement is a treaty that creates Europe’s Schengen Area, which consists of 26 countries where internal border controls have largely been eliminated for short-term tourism, a business trip, or cross-country travel to a non-EU country. destination Schengen.
The 26 countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia. , Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. European Economic Area definition
As many Schengen countries assume that all travelers will stay the full three months allowed for visa-free visitors, you must have a passport valid for at least six months. Although border controls have been eliminated, please have your passport with you when traveling from country to country, because a passport check can be reinstated at any time.