The European Economic Area (EEA) extends the four freedoms of the European Community to the EFTA states Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, giving them access to an internal market of 30 states and almost 500 million people. Agriculture and fisheries are excluded, but the EFTA EEA countries cooperate in other policy areas as well.
The basic document is the Agreement on the European Economic Area. More information is available on the EFTA web pages about the EEA Agreement.
Quick overviews are offered by a number of EEA fact sheets.
The European Community (European Union) legislation in the relevant areas is constantly evolving. The purpose of this blog post is limited: to show how “technical” new provisions are adopted by the non-EU members. Article 98 of the EEA Agreement spells out the mechanism for amending the Annexes to the Agreement, as well as the Protocols mentioned:
The Annexes to this Agreement and Protocols 1 to 7, 9 to 11, 19 to 27, 30 to 32, 37, 39, 41 and 47, as appropriate, may be amended by a decision of the EEA Joint Committee in accordance with Articles 93 (2), 99, 100, 102 and 103.
The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 28.5.2009 L 130 offers examples of recent Decisions by the EEA Joint Committee, numbers 21 to 39/2009 amending Annexes.
Joint Committee Decision 40/2009 amends Protocol 31 on cooperation in specific fields outside the four freedoms.