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Swiss-EU relations  Brussels sees ‘lack of progress’ in Swiss-EU talks

The European Commission building in Brussels

The Swiss government is demanding clarifications from Brussels before it signs off on a draft treaty concluded in November 2018. 

(Keystone / Stephanie Lecocq)

The European Commission has noted a “lack of progress” in talks with Switzerland over a new institutional framework deal, a top official said on Tuesday. 

“The commissioners noted the lack of progress, therefore the college saw no need to take any decision,” European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said, reporting the results of EU executive’s the weekly meeting.

Since 2014, Bern and Brussels have been trying to formalise their relations, currently covered by around 120 separate bilateral accords negotiated since a 1992 referendum in the Alpine state rejected joining the European Economic Area.  

The Swiss government is demanding clarifications from Brussels before it signs off on a draft treaty concluded in November 2018. 

Sefcovic did not mention the question of whether Brussels plans to extend the “equivalence” status of Swiss stock exchanges, which expires at the end of the month.  A formal proposal for not extending the equivalence regime will reportedly be tabled by the end of this week. In this event, Swiss bourses face losing direct access to EU investors from July 1 and broad financial repercussions. 

Sefcovic said Brussels continued to back the ratification of a new treaty governing the relations between Switzerland and the EU.

“Our doors remain open to conclude the agreement before the end of this commission’s mandate,” he said. The commission’s mandate ends on October 31.

Last week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he was ready to clarify any doubts Switzerland may have about a future institutional framework deal with the EU. But he insisted that the draft treaty would not be renegotiated and that clarifications should come quickly.

Swiss-EU relations  Swiss want ‘more clarification’ on EU framework deal

Switzerland says it will not yet sign a framework agreement aimed at simplifying future ties with the EU as it wants certain points clarified. 

This content was published on June 7, 2019 3:29 PM

Keystone-SDA, Reuters/sb

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