Norway is an EEA/EFTA member and is not in the EU.

The first Google hit for "is Norway in the Single Market?" indicates it is in the Single Market.

But I thought Norway was not in the Single Market, but in EEA/EFTA, which has its own treaty that replicates much of the Single Market legislation, delivering an effect that is much like being inside the SM, but technically is not.

Is Norway in the Single Market?


2 Answers 2


Norway is in the Single Market for all practical intents.

If you really want to quibble and grasp at straws, Norway is not technically in the European Single Market. It has access to and participates in the Single Market on the basis of the EEA, which basically grants reciprocal access to Norway's and the EU's respective markets.

The terms for this access are, basically, to apply everything that applies in the European Single Market: the four fundamental freedoms of movement, most EU laws of importance (exceptions for the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy, as well as the Customs Union), paying contributions to the EU, yada yada.

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    As the article you link to notes, Norway's participation in the single market is subject to exceptions. One exception ks that Norway is not a member of the customs union.
    – phoog
    Aug 2, 2019 at 12:55
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    It is usual to use "single market" to refer to the four freedoms in the internal market, but not the customs union. So it is often said (not unreasonably) that Norway is in the single market, but not the customs union. Aug 2, 2019 at 21:52
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    ...which would, per this answer, be technically incorrect. Thanks for the exposition.
    – 52d6c6af
    Aug 3, 2019 at 14:01
  • @Ben Yes, that's right. I was hopefully clearing up why there is a confusion. It is common for journalists to treat the customs union as separable from the single market and they are conceptually distinct, but if you read the TFEU, there is no way, adopting the terms of that treaty, to split the customs union from the "internal market" (which is the current terminology for "single market"). Aug 4, 2019 at 13:43

Yes, Norway is indeed in the single market even when it's not in the European Union. They are part of the European Economic Area(EEA) which is specifically used mostly for economic bilateral enhancements between the EU and states outside of EU, like Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. Those three states together with Switzerland are also members of the EFTA which is a trade organization specifically for those states.

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    I have to downvote because the other answer appears to discredit the first sentence in this.
    – 52d6c6af
    Aug 2, 2019 at 14:01

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