Free movement of people, the main obstacle to the EU-Switzerland agreement (Minister)

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis explained that the main obstacle to an agreement between the European Union and Switzerland is the inconsistency regarding the interpretation of the freedom of movement of people.

“The point of contention in disputes with the European Union is the different interpretation of the freedom of movement of people. For Switzerland, it is mainly about the free movement of workers and their families, and for the European Union it is about the free movement of all citizens and citizens of the European Union,” the minister said Monday evening.

“The second essential difference is the interpretation of the labor law,” he added.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs said, if the European Union does not make amendments to these two points, it will not be possible to reach a majority for the framework agreement, noting that Switzerland has “submitted concrete proposals”, although it was not mentioned in detail.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Guy Parmelin, confirmed that Switzerland had made important pledges, but “the Federal Council has always emphasized that the three disputed points must be resolved” until an agreement is reached.

Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which was informed on Monday of the contents of the meeting – Friday – between Parmelen and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, voted by a large majority in favor of continuing the talks.

On Friday, however, the European Union informed the Swiss president of its refusal to amend the text of the agreement it is negotiating with Bern.

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