Switzerland Bilateral Trade Agreements

There are currently more than 100 bilateral agreements between the EU and Switzerland. Until June 2019, the Federal Council has not reached any valid compromises either with internal partners such as trade unions and representatives of Swiss companies, or with the outgoing President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. EU member states also said that no further compromise would be possible on the text of the proposed framework agreement with Switzerland. This is why Brussels has not extended its market equivalency to the Swiss stock exchange because of this failure of negotiations between Switzerland and the EU and, for a counter-measure, the Regulation of the Federal Council of November 2018, which limits the future exchange of most Swiss shares traded by the EU to the Six Swiss Exchange in Zurich, has been implemented. [20] [21] Signatories to a free trade agreement form a free trade area (for example. B Switzerland-EU). It is not a customs union, that is, the signatories of the agreement retain their own external tariffs. On the other hand, in the case of a customs union, there are only common external customs duties. Once the goods have crossed this line and reached the market, they can move freely between the different countries without any other tariffs. Examples of customs union: European Union or Swiss-Liechtenstein. The result of the referendum on extending free movement to Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU on 1 January 2007, prompted Switzerland to violate its obligations to the EU. In September 2009, the Swiss government declared that bilateral treaties are not solutions and that the members` debate needs to be reviewed,[35] while the Green Left Party and the Social Democratic Party said they would renew their initiative for Switzerland`s accession to the EU. [36] Content of agreements The essential element of each agreement is trade in goods (including tariff reductions and other trade restrictions).

They regulate trade in industrial products (SH chapters 25-97), fish and processed agricultural products. Trade in unprocessed agricultural products is generally governed by separate bilateral agricultural agreements. Following the rejection of EEA membership in 1992, Switzerland and the EU agreed on a set of seven sectoral agreements signed in 1999 (called “bilateral I” in Switzerland). These include the free movement of people, technical barriers to trade, public procurement, agriculture and air and land transport. In addition, a scientific agreement on research has fully integrated Switzerland into the EU`s research framework programmes. In 1994, Switzerland and the EU began negotiations to establish special relations outside the EEA. Switzerland wanted to guarantee economic integration with the EU that the EEA agreement would have allowed, while cleaning up the relationship between the contentious issues that led citizens to reject the referendum. Swiss politicians stressed the bilateral nature of these negotiations, which conducted negotiations between two equal partners and not between 16, 26, 28 or 29, as is the case with the negotiations on the EU-EU treaty. Benefits of agreements In 2013, 22.6% of Switzerland`s total exports will be concluded with free trade partners, with the exception of the free trade agreement with the EU.

This represents 51% of Swiss exports to markets outside the EU.