The Swiss Federal Council plans to renew its pledge of contributing CHF1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) to the EU’s cohesion fund. It opened the consultation process on the matter on Wednesday.
The funds are aimed at improving living standards and combating inequality in the EU. It particularly supports projects in Central and Eastern European member countries.
When the EU limited Swiss stock exchange market access last December, the government announced that further payments would only be made on condition of the EU granting unlimited stock market equivalence to Switzerland.
By opening the consultation process, this condition has now been removed and can be interpreted as a “conciliatory sign” to Brussels, reported Swiss public television, SRF, on Wednesday.
It signalled a willingness to strengthen bilateral relations with the EU and a “normalisation” of the relationship between the two parties, according to SRF.
The cohesion fundexternal link money would be paid over the next ten years and will still have to be approved by both chambers of parliament before it will be put to the vote.
The Swiss public accepted the first cohesion fund packet in 2006.