Switzerland broke off negotiations with the EU on a framework agreement after seven years. The German negotiator Andreas Schwab (48), chairman of the Swiss delegation in the EU Parliament, is convinced that Switzerland was not clear about all the consequences of this step.
In an interview with the “Badische Zeitung”, the CDU European politician explains the reasons for his view. “Unfortunately, not all opportunities to come to a solution have been used”. In addition to many points of discussion, only four issues were recently disputed. The question of state aid and the involvement of the European Court of Justice in disputes have been resolved. “Parts of the free movement of people and the” how “of the controls for” wage protection “remained open.”
Switzerland “suddenly no longer wanted to negotiate”
In the end, seven “really small details on the question in connection with the ‘Union Citizens’ Directive’” remained pending. Switzerland “suddenly no longer wanted to negotiate about it”. Domestic policy considerations probably “played a very important role” for the Swiss delegation, said Schwab.
But he is not of the opinion that a referendum would have caused even greater damage: “The interesting thing about the path now chosen is,” says Schwab, “that the government in the land of direct democracy does not let the people decide. In Switzerland in recent years everything has been voted on, but the Federal Council does not allow a vote on this question. “
Federal Council “daydreaming”
There will be no cherry-picking now and the “political dialogue” desired by Switzerland will also be astonishing. Exactly this has been running for seven years and has now been ended by Switzerland. The “existing treaties could not be updated in favor of Switzerland”. Many contracts would still be missing.
According to Schwab, the EU lives from member states, “who make a contribution to common solidarity and on this basis have free access to the internal market. And since Switzerland does not take part, Swiss products must be approved by a body certified for this purpose. In the future, this will be the path that will cost more and bring nothing. ” The first Swiss companies are already feeling the consequences of this by means of an export ban.
The wish expressed by the Federal Council for “individual contracts” is “daydreaming”: “Switzerland only wants to use the internal market where it suits it, which will no longer work in the future. There are no longer any contracts between individual member states and Switzerland. ” “This small group in Switzerland does not want to admit that”. This is despite the fact that half of the Swiss value the EU and understand its “meaningfulness”.
No rejection of further contacts
Schwab quotes the former Swiss Federal President Pascal Couchepin (79), according to which Switzerland cuddles with the USA and China, but with the EU it is very persistent in its sovereignty. Schwab: “We are in the 21st century and in times of globalization! We can only defend our sovereignty together anyway. “
In the EU Council of Ministers there was a “great disappointment” with Switzerland’s decision: “A country in the middle of Europe is misjudging the matter.” But that is not a rejection of further discussions. The EU has “an interest in good, trusting and functioning relationships”. As the chairman of the delegation, Schwab wants to focus on this “also in the future as my main focus”. (kes)
The focus on Blick TV: What does the end of the framework agreement mean?(36:33)