Switzerland is unlikely to strike a deal with the European Union this year over a stalled partnership treaty, its economy minister said, extending an impasse that has hurt bilateral ties and disrupted cross-border share trading.
Swiss President Ueli Maurer played down prospects for quickly ending a standoff with the European Union over a stalled partnership treaty that has disrupted cross-border stock trading and strained ties with Switzerland's main trading partner.
The new head of Switzerland's powerful labour union federation rejected a draft treaty with the European Union and called for restarting negotiations with the country's most important trading partner.
Talks between Brussels and Berne have been running since 2014 in a bid to formalise the 120 separate accords that have been negotiated between the EU and Switzerland since a 1992 referendum in the Alpine state rejected joining the European Economic Area. But the draft agreement, which was made public in early December, now seems unlikely to become reality.
Switzerland said on Wednesday (4 July) it had put further talks on a new treaty governing relations with the European Union, including sensitive labour market rules, on hold until after the summer break.
Most Swiss support the government's plan to forge a new treaty with the European Union that would have arbitration panels to help settle disputes, a poll published on Sunday (29 April) showed.
Switzerland will not meet the European Commission's deadline for a deal in the early part of this year on a new treaty that would bind the neutral country more closely to its biggest trading partner, new Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said.
A recent uptick in EU legislation on social issues has sparked disagreement between member states on controversial files to regulate labour rules across the bloc. Now legislators are trying to hammer out a way to enforce the growing number of rules.
Switzerland will curb Bulgarian and Romanian citizens' access to its labour market for the next 12 months, the government said yesterday (10 May), amid increased migration from those countries after limits were lifted last June.