An unusually closed Council of States sends a clear message to Brussels: With the latest threat, the EU has crossed the border.
"Not enough" is the progress that has been made in the negotiations on the framework agreement between Switzerland and the EU. The European Commission Vice-President called for a letter yesterday that became public. "At present," the Swiss stock exchange must therefore expect the EU to no longer be recognized by next year.
The threat from Brussels was discarded
This open threat from Brussels with the aim of forcing Switzerland into the link in the framework agreement is rejected by the Council of States with its clear decisions. The renewed Swiss contribution to the EU member states in the amount of 1.3 billion Swiss francs (other "Cohesion Billions") will be paid only if the EU does not take "discriminatory measures" against Switzerland.
The Federal Council and Parliament clearly consider the Swiss Stock Exchange not to be recognized as such discrimination. With good arguments: the Swiss stock market would actually meet the conditions for final recognition, which the EU itself set in the past year.
The Council of States strengthens the Federal Council's return
Significant is the unity of the small chamber in its loud protests at the Brussels address to this day. Only the green Robert Cramer from Geneva stood against him. Even in fact, an EU-compliant EU could no longer send funds to EU member states when Bruxelles unpacks the thumbs against Switzerland.
Therefore, the Council of States is supported by the Federal Council, which will decide within a week of tomorrow or Friday whether to conclude a framework agreement with the EU. The state government tends to reject it. The decision of a small home needs to be confirmed.
Decision on EU Discriminatory Measures
First of all, the common position of the Council of States should be understood as a sign for the Swiss population. By dismissing the "self-determination initiative" last Sunday, most of the electorate supported compliance with international treaties as the highest principle. It would not be fair to have the Parliament now financially reward discriminatory EU measures against Switzerland.
Especially as the renewed EU cohesion offer is, above all, a goodwill gesture. Although Brussels again and again claims that payment, so to speak, "the entry price" to the internal market of the EU.
Given that the EU sold significantly more goods to Switzerland than the EU last year (the trade deficit with the EU has more than 15 billion francs in 2017), it seems that the reasoning is reasonably constructed. According to the same logic, Migros and Coop could in the future also require the entry of their customers because they are allowed to buy in their stores.
Head of Bundeshausredaktion, SRF
Burkhardt is the head of Federal Department of Radio SRF, for whom he has worked for 15 years. Previously he worked for "10vor10" and "SonntagsZeitung".