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Europe: Federal Council submits draft institutional terms of reference for consultation

21.08.2013 — Press release DEA
Last June the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to draw up draft terms of reference for negotiations with the European Union on institutional matters. Today the Federal Council adopted the draft and sent it to the Foreign Affairs Committees and the cantons. The social partners are being informed.

Fourth Round of Swiss-EU Negotiations on Linking of Emissions Trading Systems

09.07.2013 — DEA
The fourth round of negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union on the linking of their respective CO2 emissions trading systems was held in Zurich on 8 July 2013. Further progress was made at the negotiations. The aim of completing the technical negotiations by the end of the year was corroborated.

Federal Council pursues medium-term strategy on consolidation of bilateral way

26.06.2013 — Press release DEA

Bern,  The Federal Council wants to consolidate the bilateral approach to its relations with the European Union. To achieve this, the institutional structure of Swiss-EU relations in the area of market access must be renewed. For this reason, the Federal Council has decided to pursue a medium-term strategy and has appointed the Federal Department for Foreign Affairs (FDFA) to create a draft negotiation mandate by the time the Federal Council resumes work after the summer recess.

Federal Councillor Widmer-Schlumpf receives EU Commissioner Šemeta in Bern

17.06.2013 — Press release DEA

Bern, Today in Bern, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and EU Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta held talks on unresolved tax issues. In the area of business taxation, Switzerland reaffirmed its willingness to adjust certain tax regimes provided the EU dispenses with defensive measures against Switzerland. Regarding the automatic exchange of information, Finance Minister Widmer-Schlumpf stressed the importance of a global standard.

Adaptation of the bilateral agreement in the field of statistics with the European Union

12.06.2013 — Press release DEA
Two decisions were adopted at the 4th meeting of the Switzerland/European Union Statistical Committee (Joint Committee) which took place in Geneva. One replaces Annex A of the bilateral agreement in the field of statistics with the European Union (EU) whereas the second approves the specific Switzerland/EU annual statistical programme for 2013. These decisions were approved by the Federal Council and enter into force immediately.

Swiss economy: between a rising domestic demand and subdued exports

11.06.2013 — Press release DEA

Bern, Economic forecasts from the Federal Government’s Expert Group – Summer 2013* - Despite the ongoing recession in the Euro zone, the Swiss economy continued to perform relatively well in the beginning of 2013. There is however still an imbalance between a robust domestic demand and subdued exports. This pattern of economic activity is likely to continue during the further course of the year. Growth dynamic should remain moderate overall and unemployment should continue to rise slightly. The Expert Group essentially reaffirms in June its assessment of a slow economic growth in 2013, with a GDP increase of 1.4%, a forecast mostly unchanged from last March. For 2014 it expects a broadly based economic recovery, extending to exports and the labour market (GDP-forecast: +2.1%). This does however assume a recovery in the global economy and, in particular, that the Euro zone will finally move out of recession, which is currently still surrounded by considerable uncertainty.

Meeting of the Joint Swiss-EU Committee in the Fields of Research and Euratom

06.06.2013 — Press release DEA
This year’s meeting of the Joint Committee between Switzerland and the EU in the areas of research and Euratom that took place in Brussels today provided an opportunity for mutual exchange on the implementation of existing agreements and for informal exchanges with regard to “Horizon 2020”, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and to Euratom’s next programme. These two programmes are scheduled to begin on 1 January 2014. The issue of Swiss participation is currently being discussed in the Federal Assembly.

Federal Council invokes safeguard clause for EU-17 and EU-8 states (last modification, the 24.04.2013)

24.04.2013 — Press release DEA
In the coming 12 months, workers from EU states will have only restricted access to the Swiss labour market. The Federal Council decided today to invoke the safeguard clause contained in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. The quotas apply to category B residence permits for persons from EU-8 states, and, provided the requirements are met by the end of May, from EU-17 states.

IMF supports Switzerland’s stability-oriented economic policy

18.03.2013 — Press release DEA

Bern, 18.03.2013 - In its preliminary findings, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) acknowledged Switzerland's stability-oriented fiscal and monetary policy. It is expecting growth to pick up only slightly this year. The IMF continues to see risks for Switzerland in developments in the euro area as well as in the fiscal policy of major advanced countries. It recommended that the SNB should maintain the exchange rate floor of CHF 1.20 per euro. It welcomed the advances made in financial sector regulation. Furthermore, the IMF supports the measures introduced since mid-2012 to stem the risks in the mortgage and real estate market.

Cross-border Commuter Statistics for 4th quarter 2012 – Continued increase in cross-border commuters

04.03.2013 — Press release DEA

Neuchâtel, According to the Cross-border Commuter Statistics of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the number of foreign cross-border commuters working in Switzerland rose by 4.8% last year. In the Lake Geneva region and in Northwestern Switzerland, about one in ten employed persons is a cross-border commuter; in Ticino, the figure is one in four. Comparing the numbers over a five-year period, there has been an above-average increase among office workers, unskilled workers and managers.

Continuing successful participation in EU Framework Programmes

27.02.2013 — Press release DEA

Berne, The Federal Council has referred to parliament two dispatches on funding for Swiss participation in the EU Framework Programmes in the areas of Research and Innovation on the one hand, and education, training, youth and sport on the other. The former is intended to give researchers in Switzerland continued access to the second most significant source of public funding and to the European research network. The second dispatch is designed to continue the mobility opportunities of students in education, training and on youth and sport courses. The total budget set in both dispatches is approximately 4.7 billion Swiss francs (including reserves) for the years 2014 to 2020. Their approval by parliament will allow the Federal Council to conduct negotiations with the EU on renewing both bilateral agreements.

Swiss project achieves FET Flagship status

28.01.2013 — Press release DEA

Bern, In the drive to secure EU research funding, Switzerland has achieved a leading position in the area of Future and Emerging Technologies. For Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, this confirms the strength of the Swiss education, research and innovation model. Research groups from both of Switzerland’s federal institutes of technology were involved in five (as project leaders in three) of the six FET Flagship project proposals that reached the final phase of the selection process. The EPFL’s “Human Brain Project” was one of the two projects chosen. Starting in 2013, this project will receive substantial FP7 and FP8 funding over a ten-year period.

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