An economic area encompassing all the members of the European Union (EU-- q.v.) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA-- q.v.), with the exception of Switzerland. Established in 1993, the EEA went into effect on January 1, 1994. The EEA is a single market for the free movement of labor, services, capital (with some restrictions on investments), and most products. EFTA members have agreed to accept EU regulations in many areas, including company law, education, environmental protection, mergers, and social policy.