The Geneva headquarters is responsible for the management and negotiation of free trade agreements with third countries and supports the EFTA Council. EFTA was historically one of the two dominant trading blocs in Western Europe, but it is now much smaller and closely linked to its historical competitor, the European Union. It was created on 3 May 1960 as an alternative trading bloc for European states that were unable or unable to join the European Economic Community (EEC), then the EU`s main predecessor. The Stockholm Agreement (1960 establishing EFTA) was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries (known as the “Seven Outsiders”: Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).  A revised agreement, the Vaduz Convention, was signed on 21 June 2001 and came into force on 1 June 2002.  Last fall, for example, the Senate suspended an agreement on the automatic exchange of information, citing human rights violations. An agreement on the return of asylum seekers has also been stalled for years for fear of both sides. Tens of thousands of political prisoners were held in Turkish prisons after the 2016 coup attempt, the organizations, including human rights groups and trade unions, wrote. In 1992, EFTA and the EU signed the European Economic Area Agreement in Porto, Portugal. However, the proposal for Switzerland to ratify its participation was rejected in a referendum. (Nevertheless, Switzerland has several bilateral agreements with the EU that allow it to participate in the European single market, Schengen agreements and other programmes).) Thus, with the exception of Switzerland, EFTA members are also members of the European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA comprises three member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and 28 Member States of the European Union (EU), including Croatia, which applies the agreement provisionally until it is ratified by all EEA countries.   It was created on 1 January 1994 as a result of an agreement with the European Community (which had complied with the EU two months earlier).  It allows EFTA-EEA states to participate in the EU internal market without being eu membership. They transpose almost all EU internal market legislation, with the exception of agriculture and fisheries legislation. However, they also contribute to the implementation of new EEA policies and legislation at an early stage as part of a formal decision-making process. One EFTA member, Switzerland, has not joined the EEA, but has a number of bilateral agreements, including a free trade agreement, with the EU. Types of accumulation: bilateral accumulation: only with primary subjects of the two free trade partners (bilateral) (for example. B Switzerland-Japan or AELE-COLOMBIA). Diagonal accumulation: possible with primary subjects of several free trade partners, as all apply the same country of origin rules (e.g.B. EU-EFTA-Turkey).
Cumulative euro-med: this is also possible with primary materials from Mediterranean countries, since all the free trade partners concerned apply the same country of origin rules and there are agreements between them. Participating countries: Egypt, Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the Faroe Islands.