Talk:European Free Trade Association

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Category[edit]

Okay categorization issue. It seems to me that placing EFTA under the categories of all its member states goes against the usual way of categorizing international organizations in Wikipedia. European Union for example isn't categorized under all 25 of its member-state categories, and NATO isn't categorized likewise under all its member-state categories. And so forth.

Since EFTA is directly EU-related on the other hand I'm gonna change the categories of Category:Iceland Category:Norway Category:Switzerland Category:Liechtenstein to that of Category:European Union

Aris Katsaris 13:54, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well that is just wrong, EFTA is not directly EU-related at all. The EEA is where these organizations cooperate but onw EFTA member is outside EEA. --Bjarki 11:57, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Reasons for being outside of the EU[edit]

I would love to see some attempt at explaining why these four nations have excluded themselves from the EU. I saw (for example) some explanation in an early-2004 The Economist survey of Switzerland, focusing on domestic party politics. (Please excuse this novice comment; I'll understand if you treat it as such.)

Well, Norway has not joined the EU because the majority of the people do not want it, notwithstanding the view of the main parties. Iceland's economy is hardly compatible with EU-membership. Switzerland is a country where the autonomy of the cantons is stronger than the EU member countries. And Liechtenstein is closely intervowen with Switzerland, plus it is a micro-state on hand with Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.

FTA agreements[edit]

It would be interesting to see a list of the free trade agreements EFTA has made with non-EU countries. A Norwegian economist claimed some years ago that staying in EFTA and the EEA benefitted Norway more economically than joining the EU. This because the EEA in most businesses gives the same economical benefits as being a EU member, and in addition EFTA got several free trade agreements with non-EU. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.27.95.199 (talk) 12:24, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Does EFTA have a CET?[edit]

Is EFTA a Customs Union? Alinor 10:28, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

EFTA FTA's map / Western Sahara issue[edit]

The map is wrong, the Western Sahara territory is excluded from the FTA with Morocco. Please change it or tell me how. Regards.--HCPUNXKID (talk) 18:46, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Your assertion itself is wrong. It may be that EFTA may be effectively interpreted to exclude W. Sahara - the sourced article from a highly partisan source includes only political statement, there is no clear sourcing as to Administrative or Treaty Law. Nor is it clear that the Norwegian ministerial statement is binding or followed by other EFTA main signatories. Asserting blandly that it is NOT covered is incorrect as a matter of fact. (collounsbury (talk) 23:17, 16 September 2010 (UTC))
As the EFTA states do not recognize Morocco sovereignty over Western Sahara we would need a source in order to claim that it is included - not the vice versa. Alinor (talk) 14:30, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Costs and fees[edit]

European_Economic_Area#Rights and obligations says Norway and other EFTA members pay fees to the EU for the right to freely trade with the EU but how much are the fees and how are they calculated ? Rod57 (talk) 02:19, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

They are calculated in similar way to the EU membership fees for its member states. That's way EEA (and even Switzerland) are called "virtual EU members" - they share many of the obligations and benefits. They are only nominally outside - but in this way they have less influence on EU decisions - some of which are binding on them automatically. Alinor (talk) 14:33, 21 January 2011 (UTC)


Languages[edit]

It looks to me as if someone has just mentioned the official languages of the member states. But the institution's website is only in English, which suggests to me that English is the only official (perhaps only de facto official) language of the organisation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timtranslates (talkcontribs) 14:36, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Update: The style manual says the "official working language" is (British English). See p22: http://www.efta.int/~/media/Files/Publications/EFTA-LanguageManual.ashx — Preceding unsigned comment added by Timtranslates (talkcontribs) 14:43, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Political history[edit]

The first paragraph under the political history header is hard to understand. The first few sentences are fragmentary and later sentences refer to events that predate earlier sentences, leading to confusion of time and causation. I don't know enough about the topic to fix the paragraph, so I'm bringing it up here. --Khajidha (talk) 16:31, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Leaving EFTA[edit]

The wording of the section on Membership History implies that several EFTA member states left EFTA because they joined the European Community (or the EU). Is there really cause-and-effect there? In other words, is it compulsory to leave EFTA on joining the EC/EU, or is it just impractical to be a member of both? If it's not compulsory, perhaps the wording could be changed to something like "Country X joined the EU in Year Y, and left EFTA in the same year". Thanks in advance for any answers. Valentino76 (talk) 00:12, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


GDP[edit]

The 'Per capita' nominal value HAS to be wrong.

It says:

- Total $1138.8 billion

- Per capita $58,714

Total/(Per capita) = 19,395,714

There's no that many people in those countries. Either value is wrong. The PPP value, on the other hand, seems more consistent.

Assuming the amount of people used for the PPP calculation (13,908,717, which is also different from the one in this page), the nominal value would be $81,876; using the value in "Population", it would be $85,048. Feel free to fix this, I'm not familiarized with wiki editing (also, sorry for the few edits, I will think of the preview next time).

Spelling of names on documents[edit]

I removed this, since it is clearly an editor's own idea [although it seems to make sense!], see 'wp:Wikipedia is not a guide'.

It might be recommended, especially if traveling to countries which are English-speaking or use a non-European language, such as the United States, to use the exact spelling used in the machine-readable zone for the airline ticket or ESTA, and refer to this zone if being asked questions.

Wikipedia is not the place to make such proposals. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:45, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Faroes[edit]

I think it's a null point to claim that because the Faroes are not a state in their own right they are not able to become a member of EFTA. The Faroes are a constituent part of the Kingdom of Denmark—which is a state. Just like the Kingdom of Denmark has joined the EU, only in respect on Denmark (also not a state), presumably it could join EFTA, only in respect of the Faroes (and there is a citation supporting this). I suspect the convention is stating that non-state entities cannot be independently party to the agreement because they are not responsible for there own international representation. Rob984 (talk) 09:59, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Danlaycock, I don't know how you can't see the clear synthesis in the wording you reverted to:

It is legally possible that the "Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroes" could join the EFTA, though the Danish Government has stated that the Faroes' could not become an independent member of the EEA because Denmark is already a party to the EEA Agreement.

Is this incorrectly inferring because the Faroes' could not become an independent member of the EEA, it means they cannot join EFTA? Or just arbitrarily linking together two statements to make a point?

...according to Article 56 of the EFTA Convention, only states may become members of the EFTA, and the Faroes' is a constituent country of the Danish Realm, not a state.

Again, linking two statements to infer something not supported by the sources. The Faroes' are part of a state just like Denmark is.

Rob984 (talk) 10:17, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for just getting around to responding to this, as I've been quite busy.
I'm not sure what you mean by your "null point" comment. That this is obviously true so doesn't need to be said? I disagree, as I doubt few of our readers are very familiar with the Faroes' constitutional status. I agree that the KoD could join on it's behalf (which is why I wrote the following sentence explaining just that), but without some context explaining why that legal maneuver is required, readers are left with an extended discussion on the legal technicalities of how the Faroes could circumvent their constitutional status and the EFTA constitution to join, without any explanation for why it's necessary in the first place. Additionally, the situation is more complicated than you present. The Faroes can and has joined some international organizations independently of the KoD (ie FIFA). The important fact is that the EFTA constitution forbids non-states such as the Faroes from joining.
With regards to the sentences you object to above, for the former it certainly was not the intention to imply that, nor was it arbitrary. It is saying that independent Faroes EFTA membership via the KoD would not be a viable mechanism for independent Faroes EEA membership, which if you read the source is what is argued by the MFA of the Faroes. I'm really not sure how you are seeing the implication that you are, but if you'd like to rephrase to avoid it then I have no objection to that.
On the second sentence, you're really splitting hairs. The MFA source says "it follows from the EEA agreement that membership is only available to States which are either members of EFTA or the EU. Under its constitutional status the Faroes cannot become an independent Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement due to the fact that the Faroes are not a state." That is explicitly saying that the Faroes constitutional status prevents it from satisfying the EEA membership criteria, one of which is becoming an EFTA member state. Regardless, when claiming to remove this due to "original synthesis" you replaced it with
"As the Faroes' are a constituent country of the Danish Realm, it is proposed that the "Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroes" could join the EFTA."
Here you imply that the reason the KoD would join EFTA on behalf of the Faroes is because the Faroes is a constituent country, though nothing along these lines is ever suggested in the source. So your wording actually requires much greater original research and synthesis than mine. TDL (talk) 06:32, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
It is supported in this paragraph, is it not?
Pursuant to section 1(4) of the Foreign Policy Powers Act, the Faroes cannot participate in a cooperation/organisation of which the Kingdom of Denmark already is a Member, nor become a contracting party to agreements negotiated within such organisations. The Kingdom of Denmark is one subject under international law, and the Faroes and Denmark cannot be parties to the same agreement. Thus, the Constitutional Act of the Kingdom of Denmark does not e.g. allow Denmark to be represented as both the “EU Member State Denmark” and “the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroes” in the same agreement. Hence, the Faroese foreign policy powers are first and foremost determined by the Constitutional Act of the Kingdom of Denmark, and not by international law.
The source does not directly link EEA membership to viability of EFTA membership. Like I have said, EFTA is a common market in its own right. I don't understand why we cannot cover these in two separate sentences (being two separate, be related, issues) like the source does?
Anyway, I think it could do with being more precise overall.
Rob984 (talk) 11:50, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
The source you cite explains why the Kingdom on behalf of the Faroes could not become an EEA member. It doesn't explain why the Faroes' constitutional status as a constituent country requires that the Kingdom become a member of the EFTA on behalf of the Faroes, which is what you implied in the sentence I quoted above.
Are you talking about splitting the first sentence you quoted above? The linkage there is between EFTA membership and viability of EEA membership, not the other way around. It seems sensible to present it this way, as EFTA membership is a prerequisite for EEA membership, but I don't have a problem splitting it if you prefer. TDL (talk) 04:29, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

The United Kingdom a future member?[edit]

I would think it would be likely the UK would re-join EFTA if it left the EU. Like Switzerland it would probably have some kind bilaterally agreement with the EU; albeit without all the provisions of EEA membership. [1] Further research needed of course. Rob984 (talk) 00:34, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Per WP:CRYSTAL, let's cross that bridge when/if we come to it. (It would be an odd outcome though! to end up paying almost as much as we do now but without participating in the budget setting, have to comply with European Union Directives having had no hand or part in specifying them, be part of the Schengen Agreement, continue to accept free movement, lose access to the common market for services [esp financial]  – and the rest). --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 00:26, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
You're forgetting that EEA/EU single market participation is not required for EFTA. EFTA essentially just allows for EU single market access (such as by having the EFTA Court and the EFTA Surveillance Authority), which is why they considered related. So the UK could join EFTA simply to have free trade with the other member states of EFTA, and be part of a five-state trade bloc in international negotiations on trade agreements. That is essentially all EFTA was before 1994, including when the UK was a member I am only suggesting it could be mentioned in the European Free Trade Association#Future, if anyone finds reliable sources discussing the matter. Rob984 (talk) 13:00, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
I wrote something on this here based on this UK Parliamentary Research Paper. Given that it's been official discussed as a possible path, I'd agree that a couple sentences would be appropriate in the Future section. TDL (talk) 13:37, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

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Critcisms?[edit]

So no criticisms how interesting... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.171.128.174 (talk) 10:34, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

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Sentence deleted from lede[edit]

I deleted The establishment of EFTA was initiated by the United Kingdom,[citation needed] which became its largest member by far, and the organisation was often seen[by whom?] as a British-led competing trade bloc to the Franco–German-led EEC.[citation needed] [the citation needed tags are mine], because it is not supported by any citations and does not summarise any content in the body. Feel free to reinstate when these concerns have been fixed. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:29, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

Avoid removing Catalonia[edit]

I added Catalonia in the list of possible future members of EFTA, as is currently is widely spoken and written in Catalan newspapers.

http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/55468/efta/assegura/catalunya/independent/viable

http://electomania.es/catalunya-se-plantearia-integrarse-en-la-efta/

https://www.curiositats.cat/que-es-la-efta/

https://www.meneame.net/m/actualidad/catalunya-plantearia-integrarse-efta


It is a fact that the possibility is open, so Catalonia should be added in an an eventual future or possible future candidate to become a member of EFTA. If you want to delete it, please contribute to this talk. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kosimo (talkcontribs) 07:43, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

This is wildly contrary to WP:CRYSTAL. In the real world, it is still fantasy. I shall delete but you can replace if a reliable source describes it as credible. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:04, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
I see it has already been done. The reason to do so remains. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:06, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Remove Svalbard and Jan Mayen from member map?[edit]

I can not do this muself, as I am not sire of the technicalities, but Svalbard and Jan Mayen does not have much to do with EFTA and probably should be removed from the membership map. 155.4.193.84 (talk) 01:46, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

I didn't know Svalbard and Jan Mayen had much happening anyway. But surely they are Norwegian territories and therefore technically within EFTA. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:44, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
I checked some agreements, and from what I can tell you are right. They're just excempt from pretty much everything EFTA does (e.g. the EEA), but still a member as Norway.95.195.211.56 (talk) 21:33, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

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