Meeting in an extraordinary session, the PLR group reaffirmed its position of support for the framework agreement with the EU, provided that clarifications are made concerning the directive on the rights of citizens of the Union, wages and the guillotine clause, the party said in a statement released Friday evening.
However, if the Federal Council were to reject the outcome of the negotiations, the government would have to “immediately seek means to preserve and develop the bilateral route”. To this end, the PLR group has outlined an action plan based on three pillars “so that the negative consequences are limited as much as possible”.
Bilateral agreements III
The first concerns “international measures with the EU”, that is, the further development of the bilateral route; which will be “neither quick nor easy”. This includes on the one hand the “limited revitalization of bilateral agreements”, provided that the EU renounces retaliatory measures and unblocks other agreements.
In return, Switzerland could include open questions, such as contributions to cohesion, in the negotiation package, imagines the PLR. In addition, new agreements for example on the electricity market or health could be combined and included in a package of bilateral agreements III.
The second pillar of the plan concerns international measures outside the EU. This involves seeking partnerships with countries outside the EU, particularly in the areas of free trade and the promotion of research and innovation.
The third pillar concerns national measures. For the PLR, it will be for Switzerland to “implement unilaterally” all the measures to reduce the negative consequences of a failure of the negotiations. In particular, he cites the implementation of a liberal program and compensation measures, for example alternatives to the recognition of the equivalence of EU scholarships.
Clarify outstanding points
The umbrella organizations economiesuisse and the Swiss Employers’ Union are asking the Federal Council to show its authority and to clarify with the EU “as quickly as possible” the points still pending, so that the framework agreement finds the necessary political majority. In a statement released on Saturday, they stress the importance of “orderly and secure” relations with Switzerland’s main economic partner.
More than a million workers in Switzerland depend on unhindered access to the single market. Bilateral agreements are particularly essential for the research industry and the country’s capacity for innovation, as well as a successful financial center. “This is the only way to preserve the prosperity of Switzerland in the medium and long term”, summarizes Herbert Scheidt, president of the Swiss Bankers Association, quoted in the press release.
Any other story about the SVP. For her, the Federal Council must finally “speak clearly” to the EU. Despite “years” of negotiations on this document, the result “is still catastrophic for the freedom of our country”, says the conservative party.
The UDC formulates several demands in the process. The Federal Council must first end the negotiations on this treaty. He must also “take the binding decision not to open new negotiations on an institutional agreement of any kind.”
A revision of the 1972 free trade agreement is also irrelevant. For the hard right, “it is indeed perfectly possible that Ignazio Cassis and his Europhile diplomats recommence their rigging and renegotiating this agreement to the detriment of Switzerland to make it a semblance of an institutional framework agreement.” No more “new gifts of several billion francs to the EU”. For the SVP, Switzerland does not have to pay a market access fee.