Recovery process launched between the EU and Switzerland Swissinfo

On the 6th of May, a new round of talks for cooperation have been launched between the EU and Switzerland, establishing improved bilateral relation at the institutional level.

According to the statement made by the European Council, the talks encompass more than 120 policies covering different areas, including how the internal market of the EU can enhance the Swiss involvement in EU policies.

The bilateral relations between the EU and Switzerland had worsened following the Swiss referendum on restricted migration policies. It resulted in a sharp criticism from the part of EU countries, arguing that the outcome was against the free movement of people, one of the main principles enshrined and ensured in the EU legislation.

Last week, Switzerland announced its intention to open up its borders and labour market in front of Croatia. The announcement was gladly welcomed by the EU institutions.

''The Council reiterated and specified this position in its conclusions on EU relations with EFTA countries of December 2010 and 2012. In these conclusions, the Council considered in particular that horizontal institutional solutions were needed for the dynamic adaptation of agreements to the evolving EU acquis, the homogenous interpretation of the agreements, an independent surveillance and judicial enforcement mechanism and a dispute settlement mechanism''. [1]

The preliminary institutional negotiations initiated in 2011, have been followed by a new framework, established in December 2013 by Switzerland, covering its bilateral relations with the EU.

The negotiations were interrupted due to the non-welcomed referendum in Switzerland on migration issues, and have been re-launched on the 6th of May.

''Furthermore, the Council indicated that it expected Switzerland to honour its obligations arising from the agreement on the free movement of persons and its other agreements concluded with the EU, and to ensure the respect of rights of EU citizens acquired under the agreement on the free movement of persons''. [2]

Photo credits: Swissinfo
Edited by
Ramona Koska

[1] Negotiating mandate for an EU-Switzerland institutional framework agreement.