Negotiations continue in Swiss-EU energy deal

Switzerland is preparing to step up efforts to seal a bilateral energy deal with the European Union.

This content was published on April 19, 2011 - 21:03 and agencies

On Tuesday, Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard met with EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in Brussels.

The two agreed that it "would be a mistake" to wait any longer to hammer out such an agreement.

As Leuthard told the media on Tuesday, the plan is to meet with Oettinger again in the autumn – for the third time this year.

However – “It would be presumptuous to say that the institutional issues will be resolved by then,” noted Leuthard.

Swiss and European experts are also expected to increase their cooperation regarding nuclear reactor stress tests.

Because Switzerland already carries out such tests, the idea is that its EU counterparts can learn from Swiss experience.

An energy treaty between Switzerland and the EU has been negotiated since 2007. The Swiss electricity sector was partially liberalised in 2009 while Brussels wants a European-wide common energy market by 2020.

Swiss voters have been wary of such a move, rejecting a first proposal to liberalise the electricity supply in 2002.

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