The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of the countries that have agreed to the free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital with the other countries participating in the EEA Agreement, effectively creating a single European market that includes the countries of the European Union (EU) as well as some countries that belong to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
To participate in the market, the EEA requires that EFTA countries under the Agreement adopt some of the laws of the European Union, without requiring full membership. For example, the EEA Agreement provides for cooperation in several flanking policies such as research and technological development, education, training and youth, employment, tourism, culture, civil protection, enterprise, entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Currently, the EEA includes all the EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK), as well as three EFTA Countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Note that following Brexit, it is anticipated that the UK may join EFTA and the EEA to remain a trading partner.