European policy: arrangements for consultations on the draft institutional agreement

Press release, 16.01.2019

At its meeting of 16 January 2019, the Federal Council decided on the arrangements for consultations on the draft institutional agreement between Switzerland and the European Union. Interactive consultations will be held in the form of meetings with the groups concerned, providing an opportunity to explain the draft agreement and answer questions. The Federal Council will review the status of these consultations in the spring.

Flags EU and Switzerland
Flags EU and Switzerland ©PRS

At its meeting on 7 December 2018 the Federal Council took note of the current outcome of the negotiations on the institutional agreement between Switzerland and the EU and the fact that the EU considers the negotiations closed. It instructed the FDFA, together with the EAER and the President of the Swiss Confederation, to conduct a series of consultations on the draft agreement.

Departing from the standard approach under the Consultation Procedure Act, these consultations will take the form of meetings and face-to-face contact with a view to exploring the opinions of the groups concerned. The primary objective is to hold interactive discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of the draft agreement, establish the positions of the main Swiss stakeholders and formalise a consolidated position on the outstanding issues. The Federal Council is expecting written feedback after these meetings.

The meetings will be attended by a delegation of the Federal Council, Secretary of State Roberto Balzaretti and other specialists.

The groups consulted include in particular 1) the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees and Economic Affairs and Taxation Committees, 2) the Conference of the Cantonal Governments of Switzerland, 3) the political parties leading a parliamentary group, 4) the social partners (trade unions and employers' organisations), 5) business and 6) the scientific community. 

For the purposes of consultation, the text of the draft agreement, originally in French, has been translated into German and Italian. An explanatory document has also been drawn up in Switzerland's three official languages.

The FDFA, together with the EAER and the President of the Swiss Confederation, has been instructed to inform the Federal Council in the spring about the status of these consultations and to submit a proposal on the next steps.


Further information:

Switzerland's European policy: Institutional issues


Address for enquiries:

FDFA Information
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53
info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
The Federal Council