EEA in the European Union Law

Concept of EEA provided by the “Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy” (Antitrust and control of concentrations, published in 2002): EEA stands for European Economic Area. The EEA agreement, to which all EU Member States and the EFTA members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are parties, entered into force on 1 January 1994. The objective of the agreement is to establish a dynamic and homogeneous European Economic Area, based in substance on common rules and equal conditions of competition. Formally, two separate legal systems coexist within the EEA: the EEA agreement is applied when trade between EFTA members and the Community or between EFTA States is affected; Community law when trade between EU Member States is affected. The EEA agreement is applied both by the European Commission and by the EFTA Surveillance Authority ( ESA).

The division of jurisdiction and a framework for cooperation between the Commission and ESA are laid down in the agreement.

(See: Decision of the Council and the Commission of 13 December 1993 on the conclusion of the agreement on the European Economic Area between the European Communities, their Member States and the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the Swiss Confederation (94/1/ECSC, EC) (OJ L 1, 3.1.1994), as amended following the non-ratification of the EEA agreement by Switzerland.)

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