The 31 member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) have marked the 25th anniversary of the internal market which comprises a population of 500 million. The Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, Adrian Hasler, explained that the EEA has made a significant contribution to the economic success of Liechtenstein.

During a summit in Brussels, the heads of state and government of the EU celebrated the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area together with their colleagues from Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. In his speech, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, commented that the EEA has opened up new opportunities and means of cooperation to more than 500 million people throughout Europe. “The EEA Agreement is not a short-term transaction, but a long-term partnership, where everyone contributes, and everyone benefits”, he explained.

Adrian Hasler, Katrin Jakobsdottir and Erna Solberg, the Prime Ministers of Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway respectively, praised in their own joint declaration “the positive spirit of cooperation” that has shaped the EEA and which “has allowed for adaptations and pragmatic solutions to meet our common challenges” time and again over the past quarter of a century. The EEA provides a framework for extensive rules-based multilateral cooperation in Europe. The two-pillar structure ensures uniform interpretation and application of EEA law. Moreover, the EEA allows the three non-EU member states to contribute actively to shaping EEA-relevant EU legislation and programs.

The EEA has played an integral role in the economic success of Liechtenstein, Adrian Hasler stated in the government’s press release. “EU citizens account for nearly half of Liechtenstein’s workforce. And our companies employ thousands of other staff in the European Union.”

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