European Free Trade Association

The European Free Trade Association is a regional trade organization and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The organization operates in parallel with the European Union, all four member states participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area, they are not, party to the European Union Customs Union. EFTA was one of the two dominant western European trade blocs, but is now much smaller and associated with its historical competitor, the European Union, it was established on 3 May 1960 to serve as an alternative trade bloc for those European states that were unable or unwilling to join the European Economic Community, which subsequently became the European Union. The Stockholm Convention, to establish the EFTA, was signed on 4 January 1960 in the Swedish capital by seven countries. A revised Convention, the Vaduz Convention, was signed on 21 June 2001 and entered into force on 1 June 2002. Since 1995, only two founding members namely Norway and Switzerland.

The other five, Denmark, Portugal and the United Kingdom, joined the EU at some point in the intervening years. The initial Stockholm Convention was superseded by the Vaduz Convention, which aimed to provide a successful framework for continuing the expansion and liberalization of trade, both among the organization's member states and with the rest of the world. Whilst the EFTA is not a customs union and member states have full rights to enter into bilateral third-country trade arrangements, it does have a coordinated trade policy; as a result, its member states have jointly concluded free trade agreements with the EU and a number of other countries. To participate in the EU's single market, Iceland and Norway are parties to the Agreement on a European Economic Area, with compliances regulated by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court. Switzerland has a set of bilateral agreements with the EU instead. On 12 January 1960, the Treaty on the European Free Trade Association was initiated in the Golden Hall of the Prince's Palace of Stockholm.

This established the progressive elimination of customs duties on industrial products, but did not affect agricultural or fisheries products. The main difference between the early EEC and the EFTA was that the latter did not operate common external customs tariffs unlike the former: each EFTA member was free to establish its individual customs duties against, or its individual free trade agreements with, non-EFTA countries; the founding members of the EFTA were: Austria, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. During the 1960s, these countries were referred to as the "Outer Seven", as opposed to the Inner Six of the European Economic Community. Finland became an associate member in 1961 and a full member in 1986, Iceland joined in 1970; the United Kingdom, Denmark joined the EEC in 1973 and hence ceased to be EFTA members. Portugal left EFTA for the European Community in 1986. Liechtenstein joined the EFTA in 1991. Austria and Finland joined the EU in 1995 and thus ceased to be EFTA members. Twice, in 1973 and in 1995, the Norwegian government had tried to join the EU and by doing so, leave the EFTA.

However, both the times, the membership of the EU was rejected in national referenda, keeping Norway in the EFTA. Iceland applied for EU membership in 2009 due to the 2008–2011 Icelandic financial crisis, but has since dropped its bid. Between 1994 and 2011, EFTA memberships for Andorra, San Marino, the Isle of Man, Israel and other European Neighbourhood Policy partners were discussed. In November 2012, after the Council of the European Union had called for an evaluation of the EU's relations with Monaco and San Marino, which they described as "fragmented", the European Commission published a report outlining the options for their further integration into the EU. Unlike Liechtenstein, a member of the EEA via the EFTA and the Schengen Agreement, relations with these three states are based on a collection of agreements covering specific issues; the report examined four alternatives to the current situation: A Sectoral Approach with separate agreements with each state covering an entire policy area.

A comprehensive, multilateral Framework Association Agreement with the three states. EEA membership, EU membership. However, the Commission argued that the sectoral approach did not address the major issues and was still needlessly complicated, while EU membership was dismissed in the near future because "the EU institutions are not adapted to the accession of such small-sized countries"; the remaining options, EEA membership and a FAA with the states, were found to be viable and were recommended by the Commission. In response, the Council requested that negotiations with the three microstates on further integration continue, that a report be prepared by the end of 2013 detailing the implications of the two viable alternatives and recommendations on how to proceed; as the EEA memberships are only open to the EFTA or EU members, the consent of the existing EFTA member states is required for the microstates to join the EEA without becoming members of the EU. In 2011, Jonas Gahr Støre Foreign Minister of Norway, an EFTA member state, said that EFTA/EEA membership for the microstates was not the appropriate mechanism for their integration into the internal market due to their different requirements from those of large countries such as Norway, suggest

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Danbury

Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish - designated for Polish immigrants in Danbury, United States. Founded in 1925, it is one of the Polish-American Roman Catholic parishes in New England in the Diocese of Bridgeport. In 1924, Polish immigrants obtained permission from the Bishop of Hartford Michael Tierney to organize a church for the Polish community; the first Masses were held in the basement of the Danbury Town Hall. In the spring of 1925 the property where the church now stands was purchased for one dollar and other valuable considerations. Within four months over $20,000 was collected, construction of the new church began immediately, on October 18, 1925, 2,000 people witnessed the laying of the cornerstone. On April 8, 1926 the dedication of the church was celebrated. In June 2014, it was announced by Bishop Caggiano, Father James McCurry and Father Dennis Mason that after nearly 90 years of service, the Conventual Franciscan Friars would depart Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish as part of the province's restructuring of their ministries.

A mass of thanksgiving was held on August 2014 to celebrate their service to the parish. In attendance were Bishop Caggiano, Father McCurry, Father Dennis Mason, Father Mark Curesky, former WCSU chaplains and Sacred Heart Friary residents Fr. Brad Heckathorne and Fr. Michael Lasky. Fr. Leonel Medeiros assumed the role of Pastor at Sacred Heart, following Father Dennis Mason's departure. Fr. Medeiros is the first diocesan Pastor in the history of Sacred Heart Parish; the 150th Anniversary of Polish-American Pastoral Ministry. Webster, Massachusetts: St. Joseph Basilica. September 11, 2005. Kruszka, Waclaw. A History of the Poles in America to 1908. Washington, D. C.: The Catholic University of America Press - Part III: Poles in the Eastern and Southern States. The Official Catholic Directory in USA Sacred Heart of Jesus - Diocesan information Sacred Heart of Jesus - Diocese of Bridgeport


Livold is a village in the Kočevje Polje southeast of the town of Kočevje in southern Slovenia. The area is part of the traditional region of Lower Carniola and is now included in the Southeast Slovenia Statistical Region; the village stretches along the road connecting Petrina, near the turn to Mozelj. It has a pronounced outline; the Rinža River flows through the village. There are many karst caves in the area; the Stojna Ridge and Dry Hill rise to the west, the karstified Šahen lowland lies to the east. Livold was first attested in 1490 under Lienfeld. Judging from medieval sources, the Slovene name Livold is derived from Middle High German Lînfeld, literally'flax field'; the name thus refers to local agricultural production. Another theory derives the name from Middle High German leim'mud, silt', connected with regular flooding of the Rinža River. A third theory relates the name to branching vegetation such as bindweed and traveler's joy. In the land registry of 1574, Livold had 10 full farms subdivided into 20 half-farms with 34 owners, corresponding to a population between 120 and 135.

The 1770 census recorded 49 houses in the village. During the 1809 Gottscheer Rebellion, Von Gasparini, the French administrator of the Novo Mesto district, was captured in Kočevje by the rebels. Von Gasparini was taken away from his men and murdered in Livold, his body was thrown into a ditch. A school was established in Livold in 1891 or 1892. Before the Second World War, the village had 67 houses and a population of 364. At that time, its economy was based on agriculture and gathering berries. An agricultural and small goods fair was held in the village on 9 January every year; the prewar village population included a mason, a factory director, a civil servant, a tailor, an accountant, a notary, a driving instructor, a cobbler, a blacksmith. The original ethnic German population was evicted during the Second World War. After the war, 25 houses remained in use and the village had a population of 103. Many new houses were built in Livold after the war. Water mains were installed in 1952, these were connected with the Kočevje water system in 1969.

The local church in the northwestern part of the village is dedicated to All Saints and belongs to the Parish of Kočevje. It is a late Gothic church from the early 16th century, adapted in the 19th century; the main altar is neo-Gothic. The side one was built and features a Baroque-style pietà; the chancel has been whitewashed multiple times. The two bells in the bell tower date from the interwar period; the larger one, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was cast in Jesenice in 1923, the smaller one, dedicated to Saint Peter, in Ljubljana in 1928. In addition to the village church, several other structures in Livold have cultural heritage status: The village cemetery lies on the northeast edge of the settlement, it preserves a number of Gottschee German gravestones and contains two Partisan graves. A column shrine stands by a field at the northeastern edge of Livold, it is a Baroque structure with a square base, accentuated edges, a square hip roof. The upper section has niches on all four sides. Paintings were added to the niches in 2005, representing the Pietà, Saint Notburga, Saint Roch, Anton Martin Slomšek.

The village itself has been declared a cultural monument. It is a typical example of a ribbon village, with a characteristic skyline and two large linden trees in the center of the settlement. A triangular columnar monument with an inscription on two sides is dedicated to the fallen Partisan soldiers and others from Livold that died on the communist side, it was unveiled on 3 October 1965. It stands on a graveled area surrounded by grass where the road to Črnomelj splits off from the main road between Kočevje and Brod na Kupi. Notable people that were born or lived in Livold include: Albert Belay, Gottschee cultural activist in New York Ivan Omerza, Partisan telephone operator and People's Hero of Yugoslavia Livold: map, aerial photo, geodetic data. Pre–World War II map of Livold with oeconyms and family names