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European Commission on the decision by the Swiss Federal Council to terminate the negotiations of the EU-Swiss Institutional Framework Agreement

Statement by the European Commission on Swiss decision to terminate IFA negotiations

The Swiss Federal Council took the decision to terminate the negotiations of the EU-Swiss Institutional Framework Agreement.

We take note of this unilateral decision of the Swiss Government.

We regret this decision, given the progress that has been made over the last years to make the Institutional Framework Agreement a reality.

The EU-Swiss Institutional Framework Agreement was intended as the foundation to enhance and develop EU-Swiss bilateral relations for the future. Its core purpose was to ensure that anyone operating in the EU Single Market, to which Switzerland has significant access, faces the same conditions. That is fundamentally a matter of fairness and legal certainty. Privileged access to the Single Market must mean abiding by the same rules and obligations.

This is why, back in 2019, the EU insisted that this agreement was so essential for the conclusion of possible future agreements regarding Swiss further participation to the Single Market, and also an essential element for deciding upon further progress towards mutually beneficial market access. This agreement would have allowed for a consolidation of the bilateral approach and ensured its sustainability and further development.

Without this agreement, this modernisation of our relationship will not be possible and our bilateral agreements will inevitably age: 50 years have passed since the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement, 20 years since the bilateral I and II agreements. Already today, they are not up to speed for what the EU and Swiss relationship should and could be.

We will now analyse carefully the impact of this announcement.

For more information

Factsheet on EU-Swiss relations

Factsheet ‘What if there is no Institutional Framework Agreement’