April 23rd, European Commission President Jean-Claude Von der Leyen held talks in Brussels with visiting Swiss Federal President Jean-Claude Palmer to assess the political dimension of the progress of the eu-Swiss framework agreement negotiations since January.
Mr von der Leyen said flexibility needed to be shown on both sides in order to finalize the agreement.
The EU and Switzerland have long maintained relations through bilateral agreements, large and small, in various fields. Since 2014, the two sides have been negotiating an institutional framework agreement covering the free movement of persons, mutual recognition of industrial standards, agricultural products, air transport and land transport.
The agreement between the two sides was announced in December 2018, but the Swiss government has since begun public consultations at home and has been slow to sign it, challenging the terms of the agreement on the salaries of temporary expatriate workers, state subsidies and the free movement of people. Since January, the two negotiating teams have re-engaged on these issues, and Mr Palmer’s visit has been seen in Switzerland as key to determining whether the deal can be “brought back to life”.