The European Free Trade Association: Revival or Collapse?

  • René Schwok


Construction of the EC necessitates an important decision for the EFTA countries.1 It calls into question their economic future as well as their political and cultural identity. With the 1992 internal market, monetary union and political union looming on the horizon, those states are confronted by a tremendous challenge which will determine their place and role in Europe. Both the Community and EFTA want a mutual ‘rapprochement’. In the EC, one can sense a strong desire to avoid an economic cleavage in Europe, as well as political motivations linked to its international ambitions. On the EFTA side, the primary motive for collaboration comes from its fear of remaining outside the EC internal market. There are also political and psychological factors which are almost as important, although it is difficult to assess them precisely. The EC and EFTA have negotiated a so-called European Economic Area. The EEA can be broadly defined as the extension of the EC-1992 internal market to EFTA. In other words, the EEA does not include the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), European Political Cooperation (EPC) nor the different inter-governmental schemes such as the Trevi group, the Schengen Agreement, the European Monetary System (EMS) and so on.


Public Procurement European Monetary Union Opinion Poll External Relation European Monetary System 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • René Schwok

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