Modernisation of ties not possible with Swiss 'no' to EU trade treaty talks - EU 

FILE PHOTO: Switzerland's national flag flies beside the one of the European Union in Steinhausen, Switzerland February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann


May 26, 2021

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission expressed regret on Wednesday at the Swiss government's decisions to ditch a stalled treaty with the European Union, saying the move would prevent the modernisation of ties and Switzerland's participation in the EU's single market.

The Swiss government decided on Wednesday to ditch a stalled treaty with the European Union amid stiff domestic opposition to a pact that would have simplified and strengthened ties with the country's biggest trading partner.

The government concluded that substantial differences remained between Switzerland and the EU on key aspects of the agreement.

"Without this agreement, this modernisation of our relationship will not be possible and our bilateral agreements will inevitably age: 50 years have passed since the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement, 20 years since the bilateral I and II agreements. Already today, they are not up to speed for what the EU and Swiss relationship should and could be," the Commission said in a statement.

"This is why, back in 2019, the EU insisted that this agreement was so essential for the conclusion of possible future agreements regarding Swiss further participation to the Single Market, and also an essential element for deciding upon further progress towards mutually beneficial market access," it said.

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