EUROPEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION (EFTA) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     17th February 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: India has rejected the demand of the four-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA) for 'data exclusivity' provisions in the free trade agreement that both sides are negotiating.


European Free Trade Association  (EFTA)

  • About: It is the intergovernmental organisation of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • Set up: In 1960 by its then seven Member States for the promotion of free trade and economic integration between its members.
  • Objective: Facilitates free trade and economic integration among member states within Europe and globally.
  • History: EFTA was founded by the Stockholm Convention in 1960.
  • Advisory Bodies: The EFTA Parliamentary Committee, The EFTA Consultative Committee, The EEA EFTA Forum.
  • Goal: Fosters free trade and economic integration among its members both within Europe and on a global scale.


Governance

  • EFTA Council and Decision-Making: The highest governing body of EFTA is the EFTA Council, convening eight times a year at the ambassadorial level and twice a year at the ministerial level, overseeing key decision-making processes.
  • Regulatory Bodies

oEFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA): Ensures adherence to European Economic Area (EEA) regulations in Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

oEFTA Court: Based in Luxembourg, resolves disputes related to EEA agreement interpretation and implementation.

  • Administrative Hub

oEFTA Secretariat: Headquartered in Geneva, facilitates relations between member states and manages EFTA's free trade agreements (FTAs).

Samadhaan