The European Free Trade Association

Our regions of activity
Within the European Union
The EIB in the Enlargement countries
European Free Trade Association
EIB in the Mediterranean partner countries*
Maximizing synergies
Financing & advisory services
Private equity
Advisory services
FEMIP Support Package
How to apply
Trust fund
Technical advisory
Risk capital operations
CAMENA climate action envelope
Organisation and staff
The EIB in the Eastern neighbourhood countries
Cooperation with other institutions and organisations
Financing facilities
DCFTA Initiative
Trust fund
Examples of EPTATF Operations
Institutional framework
Central Asia
Institutional framework
Cooperation with other institutions and organisations
Financing facilities
Technical assistance and grants
The EIB in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific
Madagascar and the EIB
Kenya and the EIB
Our focus in the ACP region
Looking for a loan?
Investment Facility
Boost Africa
Our partners
Senegal and the EIB
Malawi and the EIB
Tanzania and the EIB
Mali and the EIB
Asia and Latin America
United Kingdom and the EIB
Agriculture sector
Digital Economy sector
Education and training sector
Energy sector
Modernisation Fund
Forestry sector
Health and life science sector
Regional development & cohesion
Transport sector
Trans-European Networks
Transport sector
Trans-European Networks
Urban Development sector
Global Climate City Challenge
Water and wastewater management sector
Projects to be financed
Recently approved projects
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by region
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by sector
Explanatory notes
Financed projects
Projects to be financed - Breakdown by sector
Financed projects - Breakdown by region
EFSI project list
Project cycle
Applying for a loan
Operations evaluation
Operations Evaluation – Process and methodology

The European Free Trade Association

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The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) currently has four members: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EFTA is the EU’s third largest trading partner and the four EFTA nations are widely known for their developed economies as well as their obvious proximity to the European Union, be that geographically, politically or culturally.

With a total investment of €4.9 billion, the Bank has been supporting projects in the four countries since the establishment of the EIB EFTA Loan Facility in 1994.

Blue chip markets

Norway is the EIB’s largest EFTA partner in terms of finance, and accounts for almost half of EFTA lending. The country supplies some 20% of the EU’s total gas requirements and is a pioneer in renewable energies. Similarly, Iceland also has abundant natural resources and is itself a pioneer in geothermal energy production. Both of the northern nations further stand out for fish production, metals and maritime transport

The EFTA nations are world leaders in myriad sectors vital to progression for the global economy. Switzerland is not only a financial centre, but also plays host to multinationals and major companies in the fields of biotechnology, scientific research and machinery. Liechtenstein is small but specialises in capital-intensive high technology products and research and development.

Core priorities

Projects in which the EIB is involved in the EFTA states are financed from the Bank’s own resources. They have to meet the same eligibility criteria and follow the same procedures as those within the European Union.

This means that the Bank’s priorities must also be met, so the initiatives we support in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland should have a direct common interest, and fall within the fields of energy and transport (with a particular focus on trans-European networks) as well as research and development and innovation. EFTA projects may be financed under RSFF.

The EFTA Loan Facility is not subdivided into pro rata totals for each country. Norway may be the Bank’s biggest EFTA market, but the EU is essential for all of the EFTA nations. The Union is EFTA’s largest trading partner, accounting for 72.8% of merchandising imports and 67.3% of exports.

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