European Free Trade Association (EFTA)

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  • Established: By convention signed January 4, 1960, in Stockholm, Sweden, effective May 3, 1960; updated convention signed June 21, 2001, in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, with entry into force on June 1, 2002.

    Purpose: Initially, to promote economic expansion, full employment, and higher standards of living through elimination of barriers to nonagricultural trade among member states; more recently, to expand trade and other cooperation relations with external countries and to further European integration through a single European Economic Area, extending not only to free trade, but also to deregulation, removal of technical and nontariff barriers to trade, and cooperation with the European Union in the service and agricultural sectors as well as industry.

    Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

    Principal Organs: Council, EFTA Council Committees, Consultative Committee, EFTA Surveillance Authority, EFTA Court, Secretariat.

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