30 years  - Photo:https://x.com/EspenBarthEide/status/1741887849970942039?s=20

30 years of European Economic Area

1 January 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), bringing together the three EEA EFTA States – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – and the 27 EU Member States in one Internal Market.

In a joint statement by the Foreign Ministers of the EEA EFTA States, Mr Bjarni Benediktsson from Iceland, Ms Dominique Hasler from Liechtenstein and Mr Espen Barth Eide from Norway, the Ministers say that:

in 30 years, the 30 EEA States together have built the world’s largest Internal Market, creating unprecedented prosperity and freedom for our citizens. This anniversary year provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the success and achievements of the EEA Agreement, and more importantly to prepare for the future in an increasingly complex global environment. Over the years, many global challenges have put our EEA framework to the test. Through each crisis – from the COVID-19 pandemic to the war of aggression against Ukraine –  the EEA EFTA States and the EU have remained the closest and most reliable of partners and offered a common response to protect, adapt and develop our Internal Market. 

Looking ahead, our Internal Market will remain the launchpad for our societies and economies to thrive, to further enhance competitiveness and to embrace the green and digital transition. The EEA EFTA States are key partners in these important endeavours and in building a more resilient and dynamic Internal Market. Here again, our unique partnership will be our core strength. We are committed to further strengthening the EEA, making it fit for the future and to continue opening doors for citizens across the EEA.

Various events and meetings will be organised throughout the 30th Anniversary year to highlight the positive achievements and the future of the unique partnership between the EU and EEA EFTA States under the EEA Agreement.