What are the pros and cons of “semi-EU countries”?

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With semi-EU countries, I refer to countries like Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. I often hear, that they are all practically inside the EU, as in the end they have to abide by almost all EU rulings anyway, with the caveat that they don’t have any voting rights on anything.

What are the pros and cons of this constellation?

In: Culture

Norwegian economist here.

We have free movement of workers and capital, but not on goods.

Norway is not inside the single market. We have a hard border with Sweden and Finland, and EU implement tariffs on many of our products.

Our solution is actually horrible, but companies have had many years to adapt, so they don’t feel it.

Whole industries left Norway for Sweden when Sweden became an EU member and Norway just got this EEA agreement, but almost no one remember this. So the negative impact is lost on people; they don’t understand it. And you don’t miss factories that left 23 years ago.

I would not recommend the EEA solution to anyone.