FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu, Switzerland's lead in the exploratory talks with the EU, briefed the Federal Council today about the results since the talks began in March 2022. The exploratory talks are based on a decision the Federal Council issued on 23 February 2022 laying out the main lines of a possible negotiation package. During the six rounds of exploratory talks held so far, Switzerland and the EU have reached a common understanding of the package approach proposed by the Federal Council. This approach broadens the scope for solutions. It offers a better way to meet Switzerland's vital interests. It is a good basis for a fair balancing of interests.
The two sides are now in agreement in a number of areas. Progress has also been made on the free movement of persons and state aid. Nevertheless, a number of outstanding issues remain in these and other areas. The Federal Council has therefore decided to continue the in-depth exploratory talks phase. The goal is to find sufficient common ground with the EU. Only then can preparations for a Federal Council decision on a negotiating mandate begin.
The success of any negotiations will ultimately depend not only on the outcome of the negotiations themselves but also on broadly-based domestic political acceptance. That is why, in parallel with the exploratory talks, the Federal Council is holding regular discussions with key political actors within Switzerland. Through a recently established sounding board, it has stepped up discussions with the social partners and the business community in particular. Institutional-level exchanges between the Federal Council and Parliament, the cantons, and political parties have long been established. A steering group consisting of representatives from all the departments and the Federal Chancellery ensures close coordination within the Federal Administration.
Switzerland and the EU are closely interconnected. They share the same fundamental values. That is why well-regulated relations between Switzerland and the EU are essential. They guarantee prosperity and stability for both parties.
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