Institutional agreement Switzerland-EU: Federal Council to demand clarifications

Press release, 07.06.2019

Bern, 07.06.2019 - The Federal Council intends to consolidate and further develop the bilateral approach, the cornerstone of relations between Switzerland and the EU. This also requires the search for solutions to the institutional issues. At its meeting of 7 June 2019, it approved the report on the consultations on the institutional agreement between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) and decided to demand clarifications. The Federal Council also underlined that maintaining the current level of wage protection was a key Swiss demand and that the social partners and the cantons would be closely involved in the next steps of the process.

Conférence de presse

Following the consultations it has held in recent months, the Federal Council reiterated today its broadly positive assessment of the draft institutional agreement. As anticipated, the consultations helped the stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the interests and concerns of the various political and economic actors in Switzerland, specifically with respect to certain provisions relating to wage and worker protection, state subsidies and the Citizens’ Rights Directive. On this basis, the Federal Council demands clarifications of these areas.

In a letter it sent today to the European Commission, the Federal Council declared its readiness to engage in dialogue with the EU in order to reach a mutually satisfactory solution to these three outstanding matters which would allow it to sign the agreement and present it to Parliament. In its letter, the Federal Council also emphasised the importance of respecting internal procedures in the search for solutions in order to ensure strong support for the agreement. To secure an agreement with the EU, it has therefore instructed the FDFA, along with the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research and the Federal Department of Justice and Police, to closely involve the social partners and the cantons in the process going forward.

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