Institutional elements

The package approach is also intended to regulate what is commonly referred to as the institutional elements. These relate to the following single market agreements: free movement of persons, land transport, air transport, agriculture and mutual recognition (MRA). Two further agreements are to be added as part of the further development of the bilateral approach: on electricity and food safety. The institutional elements ensure that the same rules apply to all participants in the single market. 

These single market agreements guarantee extensive reciprocal market access and prevent discrimination against Swiss companies in the EU single market and vice versa. The institutional solutions will ensure that the agreements are regularly updated and that they function well, reliably and for the long term. This strengthens legal certainty and predictability in the single market. And this is of paramount importance, especially for Swiss economic actors.

The institutional elements include the dynamic adoption of EU law developments, uniform application and interpretation of the agreements concerned, monitoring of the agreements and dispute settlement.

In each case, Switzerland will decide independently on whether or not to adopt a law and in doing so will comply with its constitutional procedures, in particular the possibility of a referendum. Interpretation and supervision of the single market agreements will be carried out under what is known as the two-pillar model: the Swiss courts remain responsible for the interpretation of Swiss law, the EU courts for the interpretation of EU law. Usually this will be the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

As in the past, disputes will mainly be settled in the joint committees. If no agreement can be reached, the case will be submitted to an impartial and independent arbitration panel, which will also have to decide on the specific dispute. The CJEU would be consulted for an interpretation of the case if the dispute involved questions of EU law and if the interpretation was at all relevant to the assessment of the dispute.

The aim of the negotiations is to agree the specific details of the proposed solutions and incorporate them into the relevant agreements. 

Factsheet: Institutional elements (PDF, 2 Pages, 315.8 kB, English)