The negotiating mandate of 18 December 2013 was clarified in regard to institutional matters so as to be able to search for an agreement with the EU on an independent arbitration solution for the settlement of disputes. In parallel with negotiations on an institutional agreement, which is not a goal in itself but a tool to manage efficiently the five bilateral agreements concerned by preventing any erosion of their effectiveness, negotiations will continue on the dossiers listed in the annex. In particular, the Federal Council decided on a rapid conclusion of the agreement on participation in the electricity market.
Regarding the issue of dispute settlement, the Swiss negotiators will be seeking an arbitration solution that could be triggered if the joint committee concerned is unable to resolve matters. The Federal Council reaffirmed its resolve to exclude certain fields from the scope of the institutional agreement. It thus wants Switzerland to be able to retain all of its accompanying measures to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The Federal Council also confirmed that it does not want Switzerland to adopt the EU's citizenship directive and its developments.
Concerning state aid, the Federal Council has authorised the relevant departments to work together with the cantons to develop a 'two-pronged' solution that provides for autonomous supervisory bodies for both Switzerland and the EU. The material provisions can only be negotiated in the specific framework of an agreement on Switzerland's participation in the EU's electricity market.
The Federal Council reiterates its opinion that Switzerland fulfils all the conditions for the EU to recognise the equivalence of Switzerland’s stock exchange for an unlimited period.
The parliamentary foreign affairs committees and the Cantons will be promptly notified of these additional clarifications to the negotiating mandate of 18 December 2013.
State Secretary Roberto Balzaretti, as chief coordinator and new head of the Directorate for European Affairs at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, is responsible for ensuring coordinated progress in the negotiations in agreement with the lead negotiators for the individual dossiers.
Address for enquiries:
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53