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Check out: The main issues in Swiss EU treaty standoff

Check out: The main issues in Swiss-EU treaty standoff

Check out: The main issues in Swiss-EU treaty standoff
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By Reuters May 26, 2021 4:49:10 PM IST (Published)

The treaty focuses on five areas: free movement of people, civil aviation, land transport, mutual recognition of industrial standards and processed farm goods.

Switzerland and the European Union have been wrangling since 2018 over a draft treaty that would formalise ties now governed by a patchwork of bilateral accords and create a more effective platform to resolve disputes.

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WHAT WOULD IT COVER?
The treaty focuses on five areas: free movement of people, civil aviation, land transport, mutual recognition of industrial standards and processed farm goods. Bern would routinely, but not automatically, adopt EU single market rules in these areas and any future accords, such as an electricity union.
WHO WOULD SETTLE DISPUTES?
The EU originally wanted its European Court of Justice (ECJ) to act as the referee but has since agreed to let arbitration panels address differences, albeit using ECJ guidance on how to interpret EU law.
If either party failed to comply with a panel’s decision, the other party could enact compensatory measures. The panel could then decide whether such measures were proportionate.
WHAT ISSUES ARE UNRESOLVED?
There are three main ones:
LABOUR RULES
The Swiss system of ”flanking measures” – adopted in 2004 to ensure foreign workers on temporary assignments do not undercut high Swiss pay — is seen as a non-negotiable red line for Swiss unions but upsets many EU states.
CITIZENS’ RIGHTS
Swiss officials baulk at giving EU citizens the same access to social benefits as the Swiss get.
STATE AID
The EU wants Switzerland in principle to ban state aid that can skew competition for the single market, with some exceptions.
This has raised Swiss concerns about losing public subsidies for some sectors and state guarantees for regional banks.
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