1. The parties strengthen the dialogue between them by all appropriate means, including through the Part VII procedures, to identify areas and activities in which closer cooperation could contribute to the achievement of their common objectives in the areas covered by Article 78. The EEA agreement was signed in Porto on 2 May 1992 by the seven states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the European Community (EC) and its twelve Member States at the time.   On 6 December 1992, Swiss voters opposed ratification of the agreement by constitutional referendum and virtually froze the application for EC membership submitted earlier this year. Instead, Switzerland is bound to the EU by a series of bilateral agreements. On 1 January 1995, three former EFTA members – Austria, Finland and Sweden – joined the European Union, which the European Community had replaced with the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty on 1 November 1993. Liechtenstein`s participation in the EEA was postponed until 1 May 1995.  Any European state that becomes a member of the European Union or becomes a member of EFTA may, in accordance with Article 128 of the agreement, apply to become a party to the EEA agreement.  2. The terms of this participation are agreed between the parties and the candidate country. This agreement is submitted to all contracting parties for ratification or approval in accordance with their own procedures. The EEA agreement does not infringe on the rights conferred by existing agreements that give one or more EC Member States, on the one hand, and one or more EFTA states, on the other, or two or more EFTA states. B, such as other agreements on individuals, economic operators, regional cooperation and administrative arrangements, until at least equivalent rights have been obtained under the agreement.
I have the honour of confirming my agreement to the above. The contracting parties state that, in cases within the Commission`s jurisdiction, the application of the EEA`s competition rules is based on the Community`s existing powers, which are complemented by the provisions of the agreement. In cases under the jurisdiction of the EFTA Supervisory Authority, the implementation of the EEA`s competition rules is based on the agreement reached in support of that authority and on the provisions of the EEA agreement. Austria explains that the available residential area (particularly the area available for housing construction) is rarer than average due to the particular geographical location of some parts of Austria. As a result, disruptions in the real estate market could ultimately lead to serious regional economic, social or environmental difficulties within the meaning of the safeguard clause in Article 112 of the EEA Agreement and require action under this article. The EEA Treaty is a trade agreement and differs from some key points in EU treaties. Article 1 aims to “promote a continuous and balanced strengthening of trade and economic relations.” EFTA members do not participate in the common agricultural policy or the common fisheries policy.
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