A bilateral dead end

Published on 2 October 2012 at 11:36

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Attempts to reignite talks between Switzerland and the European Union seem dead locked. "The European Commission feels that the proposals made, mid-June, by Switzerland to restart bilateral talks do not constitute an adequate response to the EU's concerns," reveals Swiss daily, Le Temps, based on a ten-page report passed without debate by the Commission on September 26. Le Temps explains that the issue of Community acquis – the accumulated EU legislation – is the major stumbling block in the talks –

The Commission is, from the outset, blaming Bern of referring only to future bilateral agreements and not to those already in force. [...] The toughest chapter is the one that scrutinises Bern's proposal to create a Swiss regulatory body to supervise the bilateral agreements. That amounts to putting the control for the implementation of the Community acquis [EU rules and regulations] into Swiss hands only.

The paper concludes that –

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The door is not closed. [The EU report] recommends that the talks continue once Switzerland's first reaction is known.

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