In short, Norway today is a small, rich and open country with a liberal regime for international trade. A joint committee of the EEA-EFTA states and the European Commission (representing the EU) is tasked with extending EU legislation to third countries. An EEA board meets twice a year to resolve the overall relationship between EEA members. In addition, the WTO, which acts as a multilateral trade agreement between its 164 member states, is going through a crisis that many see as a crisis. “If our major trading partners enter into important trade agreements with other countries, it is important that we come to an agreement to prevent trade from being hijacked by Norway.” The founding members of EFTA were Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In the 1960s, these countries were often referred to as “seven outsiders,” unlike the six interiors of the European Economic Community at the time.  COMPREHENSIVE: An example of Norway`s free trade agreements, including areas where negotiations are under way. “The focus is generally on the EEA agreement, but bilateral agreements are important to Norway and will be increasingly important in the future,” says Medin. The United Kingdom co-founded EFTA in 1960, but ceased membership after joining the European Economic Community. In 2016, the country held a referendum on leaving the EU (commonly known as “Brexit”), which resulted in 51.9% for an exit.
A 2013 research paper, presented to the British Parliament, proposed a number of alternatives to EU membership that would continue to allow it access to the EU internal market, including continued membership of the EEA as an EFTA member state or the Swiss model of a series of bilateral treaties covering the provisions of the internal market.  The Council examines substantive issues, including the development of EFTA relations with third countries and the management of free trade agreements, and examines relations with the policy and administration of EU third countries in general. It has a broad mandate to examine possible policies to promote the Association`s overall objectives and to facilitate the development of links with other states, state organizations or international organizations. The Council also manages relations between EFTA states under the EFTA Convention. EEA issues are discussed by the Brussels Standing Committee. The Portuguese Fund was commissioned in February 1977, while Portugal was still a member of EFTA.  It should enable the development of Portugal after the nail revolution and the restoration of democracy and the decolonization of overseas goods. A period of economic sanctions ensued from most of the international community, which left Portugal economically underdeveloped compared to the rest of Western Europe.