The chief Swiss negotiator, Livia Leu, says Switzerland and the European Union have reached an agreement to set sights on another series of bilateral treaties.
The approach has a clear advantage over the institutional framework agreement and offer more possibilities for compromise and solution, said Leu following talks with the EU commission in Brussels on Friday.
Leu reiterated that Switzerland needs special solutions to defend its vital interests in contentious issues including salary protection and immigration.
Leu said the latest round of exploratory discussions with her EU counterpart, Juraj Nociar, had again been open, solution oriented and constructive.
However, she said that differences remained and there is a need for further clarification notably on the issue of the free movement of people.
Switzerland and Brussels have been at odds over an agreement to consolidate relations following the Swiss government's decision to abandon years of talksExternal link with the EU on an umbrella accord to complement the more than 120 bilateral agreements.
So far, Brussels and non-EU member Switzerland have agreed two package deals in 1999 and 2004.
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