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Institutional questions concerning mechanisms for the efficient application of the bilateral agreements are a central topic of discussion between Switzerland and the EU in terms of continuing along and further developing the bilateral path. On 25 April 2012 the Federal Council discussed a number of principles that would form the basis of institutional solutions with the EU. It then presented these proposals to the Foreign Affairs Committees of the National Council and the Council of States, the cantons and social partners. These principles concern consistency in the application and interpretation of provisions set out in the bilateral agreements, as well as legal development, the monitoring of the application of bilateral agreements and the resolution of disputes.
Having reviewed the position statements of the consultees, the Federal Council today decided the wording of the principles. The consultations showed that the committees, the cantons and the social partners broadly supported the general thrust of the Federal Council's position. During the consultations, questions were raised, in particular, regarding the proposal for an independent national supervisory authority. The Federal Council subsequently clarified a number of aspects. In the event of possible infringement proceedings, for example, the cantons will be treated in the same manner as the federal government. The Federal Council will now inform the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in writing of the final wording of the principles for institutional solutions. It will also inform the President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy and the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz about the principles, which are to serve as the basis for future contacts with the EU on institutional matters.
The Federal Council regards the approval of these principles as a proactive and substantive measure which should create positive conditions for progress in the current dossiers as part of the holistic and coordinated approach. On the basis of these principles it is hoped that institutional solutions can first be achieved in the electricity dossier, as negotiations here are at an advanced stage and both sides are most interested in the conclusion of a bilateral agreement. The solutions achieved in this context, if they are acceptable for Switzerland, could then be used as a reference point for future agreements between Switzerland and the EU in the area of market access.
For further information:
Head of Information FDFA
079 / 763 84 10
Head of Information FDEA
079 / 317 24 09