EFTA: History

1960 The EFTA is founed by Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Finland becomes an associate member of the EFTA. The EFTA Consultatitive Committee is established to help represent trade unions and employers' organizations. 1961
1970 Iceland becomes a member of EFTA.
Denmark and the United Kingdom leave EFTA to join the European Economic Community (EEC). The remaining EFTA members sign bilateral free trade agreements with the EEC during the 1970's. 1972
1977 The EFTA Parliamentary Committee is established and tariffs on industrial goods in trade are eliminated between the EEC and EFTA states.
EFTA's first free trade agreement is signed with Spain. 1979
1984 The Luxembourg Declaration on broader cooperation between EFTA and EEC is signed.
Portugal leaves EFTA to become a member of the EEC. 1985
1986 Finland becomes a full-fledged member of the EFTA.
Liechtenstein becomes a member of EFTA. 1991
1992 The Agreement on the European Economic Area is signed in Oporto, Portugal. Switzerland rejects participation in the EEA by referendum.
The EEA Agreement enters into force between the EU and five EFTA States. 1994
1995 Austria, Finland and Sweden leave EFTA to join the EU. Liechtenstein becomes a full participant in the EEA Agreement together with Iceland and Norway.
The updated EFTA Convention is signed in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, entering into force a year later. 2001
2003 An agreement on EEA enlargement is signed as ten Central and Southern European countries join the EU.
EU and EEA enlargement enter into effect simultaneously. 2004
2007 An agreement on EEA enlargement is signed as Bulgaria and Romania join the EU.
Iceland applies for EU membership. FTAs are signed with Albania, the Gulf Cooperation Council and Serbia.  2009
2010 Iceland begins accessions negotiations with the EU. The EEA EFTA Forum of Elected Representatives of Local and Regional Authorities is established. FTAs are signed with Peru and Ukraine.
FTAs are signed with Hong Kong China and Montenegro. 2011
2013 FTAs are signed with Bosnia and Herzegovina and with Costa Rica Panama.


EFTA throughout the years