Switzerland Lays Out Foundations for New EU Deal


Switzerland has targeted market access to electricity supply and food safety to complement existing deals in air transport, land transport, technical barriers to trade, agriculture and the free movement of people.

The Federal Council also wants enhanced cooperation in the health sector and a rapid return to the top tier of the EU’s Horizon Europe and Erasmus research and educational programmes.

The aim is to integrate these aims into a new negotiating mandate in the autumn.

But these deals should not come at the expense of Switzerland’s “essential interests” such as job and wage security, the government announced on Wednesday.

Switzerland also wants to establish a system of settling disputes that is acceptable to both parties.

The EU has long demanded a foundational set of principles to govern political and economic ties to replace the current rambling set of bilateral deals that have been hammered out over the years.

But talks on a new framework treaty broke down in 2021 when Switzerland walked away from the negotiating table.

Following a war of words, both parties have held a series of exploratory talks in an attempt to revive official negotiations.

Several Swiss ministries have now been tasked with drawing up detailed plans for each strategic area.

Future negotiations will no longer be led by State Secretary Livia Leu who will step down from her chief Swiss negotiator role at the end of August.

Source : SwissInfo