The European Economic Area, or the EEA, is an area where there is free movement of people, capital, goods and services in the European Single Market. This was established through the EEA Agreement that went into effect in 1994. Residents in the area are free to live within any country in the area.
According to the EEA Agreement, any state that is part of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association can be a member. When the agreement first went into effect, the EEA had 17 states as members, as well as the now-defunct European Coal and Steel Community and the European Community. Today, there are 31 states that are part of the EEA.
There were many nations that signed the agreement in 1992 and were entered when the agreement was enforced on January 1, 1994. In alphabetical order, those nations are:
- European Union
- Finland, France
- Germany, Greece
- Iceland, Ireland, Italy
- Netherlands, Norway
- Spain, Sweden
- United Kingdom
The year after the agreement was adopted, Liechtenstein joined. In 2005, more member states entered the agreement. Those include: