A joint committee composed of the EEA-EFTA States and the European Commission (representing the EU) is tasked with extending RELEVANT EU legislation to non-EU states. An EEA Council meets twice a year to regulate general relations between EEA members. An overview of the swiss free trade agreement network can be found in the www.seco.admin.ch section. The European Union has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs) with many countries of the world and others with a trade component and negotiates with many others.  The eighth round of negotiations was held in Mexico City from 8 to 7 January 2018. The ninth round of negotiations began on 12 February 2018 in Mexico City. Mexico and the European Union concluded negotiations for a new global agreement on 21 April 2018. The new agreement covers political, economic and cooperation aspects in order to strengthen political dialogue, boost trade and investment and strengthen technical and scientific cooperation between the two sides. Content of the agreements The essential element of each agreement is trade in goods (including the reduction of tariffs and other trade restrictions).
These rules govern trade in industrial products (HS Chapter 25-97), fish and processed agricultural products. Trade in unprocessed agricultural products tends to be governed by separate bilateral agricultural agreements. EFTA has historically been one of the two dominant trading blocs in Western Europe, but today it is much smaller and closely linked to its historical competitor, the European Union. The Committee on Economic Affairs and Economic Affairs and Economic Affairs was set up on 1 May 1960 to serve as an alternative trading bloc for European states that could not or would not join the former European Economic Community (EEC), the EU`s main predecessor. The Stockholm Agreement (1960) establishing EFTA was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital of seven countries (known as the “external seven”: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).  A revised convention, the Vaduz Convention, was signed on 21 June 2001 and entered into force on 1 June 2002.  The founding members of EFTA were Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In the 1960s, these countries were often referred to as the “Outer Seven”, unlike the then Six Interiors of the European Economic Community (EEC).  Signatories to a free trade agreement form a free trade area (e.g. switzerland-EU.B).
It is not a customs union, i.e. the signatories to the agreement retain their own external customs duties. On the other hand, in the case of a customs union, there are only common external customs duties. Once the goods have passed through this limit and reached the market, they can move freely between different countries, without imposing any further tariffs. Examples of customs unions: European Union or Switzerland-Liechtenstein. Since EEA Member States are currently only open to EFTA or EU Member States, the agreement of existing EFTA Member States is necessary to allow micro Member States to join the EEA without becoming a member of the EU. In 2011, Jonas Gahr Støre, then Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway, which is an EFTA Member State, stated that EFTA/EEA accession was not the appropriate mechanism for their integration into the internal market for micro-states due to their different requirements from those of large countries such as Norway, and proposed that a simplified association should be more appropriate for them.  Espen Barth Eide, Støre`s successor, responded to the Commission`s report at the end of 2012 by asking whether micro-states had sufficient administrative capacity to fulfil the obligations arising from EEA membership. He stated, however, that Norway was open to the possibility of acceding to the EFTA micro-States if they decided to submit an application and that it had not taken a final decision on the matter.
    Pascal Schafhauser, the adviser to liechtenstein`s mission to the EU, said that Liechtenstein, another EFTA member state, was willing to discuss the membership of microstates in the EEA, provided that their membership did not hinder the functioning of the organisation. . . .