What is EEA? The European Economic Area, referred to as the EEA, brings member states of the EU and three of the EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) together by an international agreement known as the EEA Agreement. This agreement enables the participants of the agreement to participate fully in a Single Market. It allows for the free movement of goods, capital, services, and persons between the member nations.
The key objective of the EEA Agreement is to create a homogenous European Economic Area. All relevant EU legislation with regards to the EEA is integrated into the EEA Agreement so that it applies in all the EEA countries, ensuring uniform application of laws relating to the Single Market.
The Agreement was enforced on the 1st of January 1994.
The EEA Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Single Market for individuals and economic operators within the EEA. It provides for the inclusion of EU legislation covering the “four freedoms” throughout the 31 EEA States.
These 4 freedoms are the free movement of
In addition, the Agreement also enforces cooperation in other important areas such as research and development, the environment, education, consumer protection, tourism and culture, and social policy. All of these are collectively known as “flanking and horizontal” policies. The Agreement guarantees equal rights and obligations within the Single Market for citizens and economic operators in the EEA.
The EEA Agreement also states that when a country becomes a member of the European Union, it shall also apply to become a participant in the EEA Agreement (Article 128), thus leading to an expansion of the EEA.
Things that the EEA is not
In order to entirely understand what is EEA, it is important to understand what the EEA is NOT.
The EEA is neither a Customs Union nor a Monetary Union. The EEA Agreement does NOT cover common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies, common Trade policies, common foreign and security policy, or justice and Home Affairs.
Addressing questions like these (what is EEA) helps individuals better understand various options available for people looking to migrate. The power of international diplomacy has enabled far away countries to be well within our reach should we be looking to reach beyond our horizons, be it for business ventures (availability of business visas and investor visas), or for personal growth (tourist visas, settlement visas).
The SmartMove2UK excels in its endeavor to empower people across the world with information and assistance regarding immigration laws in the UK, the EEA, as well as the rest of the world. If you require assistance with your EEA family permit forms or have any further regarding what is EEA, feel free to give us a call and book an appointment for an initial consultation with our experienced immigration solicitors.
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