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European policy Swiss see progress in EU negotiations

Swiss and EU flags

Some of the many flags flying in Geneva, an international hub


The Swiss government says there has been “technical progress” in Switzerland’s institutional negotiations with the European Union. However, the free movement of people is still a sticking point. 

“A consensus is emerging in the area of dispute settlement on the basis of an arbitration solution,” announced the Federal Council, Switzerland’s executive body, in a statementexternal link on Wednesday.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU but it has a bilateral agreement permitting EU citizens to live and work in Switzerland, and visa versa. 

In reaffirming the “existing red lines” on the topic of free movement of people, the Federal Council said the following bodies would consult with social partners and the cantons over the summer: the Federal Department of Foreign Affairsexternal link, the Federal Department of Justice and Policeexternal link, and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Researchexternal link

+ EU says some Swiss cantons fail to uphold free movement of people agreement

The Federal Council reiterated its stance that Switzerland “fulfils all the conditions for the EU to recognise the equivalence of its stock market regulation for an unlimited period of time”. In addition, It called on the EU to “recognise unlimited equivalence of Swiss stock market regulation”. 

Since March there have been five rounds of negotiations to draft an institutional agreement, as well as three meetings between Switzerland and the EU at the chief-coordinator level. The two sides have been working at an agreement since 2014.

Ongoing debate Framing the terms for future Swiss-EU relations

On Wednesday, the Swiss government once again debated the potential institutional framework agreement between Switzerland and the European Union (EU).

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