An eminent panel composed of Ambassador Petros Mavromachlis, Permanent Representative of the EU to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Deputy State Secretary Patric Franzen, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, Corneliu Hödlmayr, Legal Service of the Commission, Ambassador Eric Foerner, Ambassador of Norway to Switzerland, and former State Secretary Jean Daniel Gerber, Platform of Swiss-EU Relations, discusses the prospect of Swiss EU negotiations. The context of the war in Ukraine brings to bear commonalities in terms of shared values and interests, rather than, as before, dividing differences. In this new spirit, the panel discusses approaches and angles of the impending negotiations and the way forward in dealing with institutional and substantive issues. The experience of Norway in the EEA confirms that alleged difficulties on sovereignty and in labour relations do not stand the test of practical experience. The panel ends on a hopeful and positive note that efforts under way will succeed.
The Future of Swiss-EU Relations
Webinar, April 7, 2022, 3-5 pm MET
In the shadow of Brexit, Swiss EU relations have stalled during the last decade. Bilateral relations failed to make progress, not addressing new and pressing issues. Ever since 2008, the EU called for an institutional framework including legal dispute resolution, and a more dynamic adoption of the acquis within the framework of more than 120 existing bilateral agreements. A Draft Framework Agreement of November 23, 2018 was controversially debated in Switzerland and failed to achieve wide support. The extension of free movement of persons to social rights, the reform of detached labour, and dispute resolution, in particular the role of the ECJ, have remained contentious. The Federal Council unilaterally withdrew from negotiations on May 26, 2021. A new agenda is currently being prepared and negotiations should resume this year.
While Switzerland is the 4th largest trading partner of the EU and mutual investments are strong, Swiss-EU relations, essentially defined by a constitutional system of direct democracy, often are not sufficiently understood. The webinar seeks to make a contribution to better understanding of the issues and discusses the prospects of negotiations and future relations between the EU, Member States with a country located in the heart of Europe. It will also address the potential implications of the Ukraine war on these negotiations.
· Petros Mavromichalis, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the EU to Switzerland and Lichtenstein
· Patric Franzen, Ambassador, Deputy Secretary of State, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs
· Corneliu Hödlmayr, Legal Service of the Commission
· Erik Førner, Ambassador, Ambassador of Norway to Switzerland
· Jean-Daniel Gerber, former Secretary of State, Chair, Groupe de Réflexion, Platform CH-EU
· Chair: Javier Arias, International President of ELEC
· Moderation: Thomas Cottier, Chair, La Suisse en Europe and ELEC Switzerland
· Monitoring: François Baudu, Secretary-General, ELEC
Q+A and discussions online will follow each intervention to the point, and end with a general debate among the panel. Participants are kindly invited to submit comments and questions using the chat of the webinar.
We hope that the webinar will interest you and very much look forward to your participation.
Please find the links for the webinar below as well as in the invitation attached. No registration is required:
International numbers available: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/
Webinar ID: 833 9882 8300
Javier Arias – Thomas Cottier – François Baudu