Seven years later, the Swiss government has stopped negotiating a new treaty with the European Union. At present, the relationship between the two parties is still bound by more than one hundred agreements, but all of these agreements are intended to be included in a new treaty.
Swiss President Pamelin said that Switzerland and the EU still have “substantial differences” on important issues, and therefore decided to suspend negotiations.
The EU hopes that Switzerland will more abide by the rules of the European internal market, including the free movement of goods. Trade disputes with treaties can also be resolved more easily.
But critics view the treaty as an attack on Swiss sovereignty. For example, labor unions, lawyers and the right-wing Conservative SVP worry about stricter regulations on state aid, protective measures against high wages in Alpine countries, and EU citizens’ unrestricted access to Swiss social security.
Last month, the dialogue between President Pamelin and European Commission President von der Lein did not bring the two parties together.
The current treaty is aging
More than 100 existing treaties will continue to be effective. However, by ending the discussion of the new treaty, the Swiss will not be able to enter a part of the European internal market that they do not now belong to.
The current agreement will be outdated in the long run, or will expire. For example, a trade agreement on trade in medical technology expires this week. Brussels has stated that it does not want to spend time keeping these agreements up to date.