Switzerland is not a participant of the European Union. However, it has signed up for many policies like freedom of movement. This relationship with the Swiss is getting governed by more than 120 bilateral deals. There is a failure to replace them with one framework deal which can harm the ties.
The EU Commission said, “We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years.”
The EU -Switzerland free trade agreement started in 1972. The Commission said without a framework agreement of EU-Swiss, modernizing the relationship won’t be possible. The existing deals are not up to speed. Thus the impact of the decision of Switzerland needs analysis.
The Swiss Government has come up with highlighting the issues. It includes the protection of wages, rules for the governing state aid, and the rights of the working EU citizens in Switzerland. It is about claiming the Swiss Welfare benefits as part of this freedom of movement.
Ignazio Classic, the Foreign Minister, said Switzerland could not accept the demands of the EU for the equal rights of EU workers. It means an unwanted “paradigm shift” in the migration policy of Switzerland. The government is also fearing that it would lead to a high amount of social security costs.
Two of the sides can rely upon patchwork for these bilateral agreements. However, these deals will go out of date. Thus Switzerland will not have access to the potential electricity in the union or in other areas for the single market which changes.
However, another bilateral deal also lapsed this week on the trading of the medical technology product. Thus the Swiss MedTech Organization said that it would cost the industry about 114m of Swiss Francs.
The right-wing Swiss People’s Party is welcoming this breakdown and talks of it as a victory for Swiss self-determination. The trade unions were also happy as they were concerned about the impact on wage protection and public services. But many other parties are calling it “Black Wednesday ”.
The Bern Government is saying that 1.4 million EU citizens live in Switzerland. They have promised to urge the parliament for the approval of the release of CHF 1.3 bn to the fund of the EU. It froze in 2019 and worked as a key condition for the Swiss membership for the single market.