Events - 17.11.2010 - 00:00 

Public debate about the EU

On Wednesday, 24 November 2010, Foreign MinisterMichelineCalmy-Rey and the President of the EFTACourt and HSG professor, Carl Baudenbacher,will discuss the issue “EWR plus as a perspective?”.
Source: HSG Newsroom


17 November 2010. The 2010 Political Discussion in Berne will be homing in on the – not always easy – relationship between Switzerland and the EU. Personalities from politics and academia will talk about various focal points of Switzerland’s European policy. The final evening will be devoted to the question of the medium- and long-term perspectives of the relationship between Switzerland and the EU.

Bilateralism under discussion
In August 2010, the Federal Council resolved to continue on the bilateral path in relations with the European Union, with certain adaptations. Possible adaptations concern the dynamic adoption of EU law by Switzerland, the establishment of a horizontal monitoring mechanism and the creation of a jurisdiction. All three novelties, which were proposed by the EU, are elements of the European Economic Area. At present, a mixed expert group EU/Switzerland is working out proposals for solutions.

Switzerland and the EU
However, there are more and more indications that the EU considers that the end of the bilateral path has been reached. Only a few days ago, the Vice-President of the EU Commission, Viviane Reding, said that bilateralism is coming to an end. A forward-looking policy will have to look for alternatives. Since accession to the EU is not within reach, the question arises as to whether Switzerland should join the multilateral treaty concerning the European Economic Area (EEA). Professor Baudenbacher advocates such a step.

As a long-standing President of the EFTA Court, he knows the EEA very well. Federal Councillor Calmy-Rey wants to hold on to bilateralism and has recently affirmed her conviction that this approach is in both parties’ interest.