European policy: Federal Council sets out next steps for second Swiss contribution

Press releases, 04.06.2021

The unblocking of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states is part of the Federal Council's European policy agenda, with a view to pursuing the bilateral approach. At its meeting on 4 June, the Federal Council decided to prepare a dispatch on the unblocking of the corresponding framework credits. The dispatch will be submitted to Parliament in the autumn session.

In its letter to the president of the EU Commission dated 26 May 2021, the Federal Council stated that it will work towards a rapid unblocking of the second contribution by Parliament. It is also seeking to finalise the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the EU which sets out the parameters for the implementation of the second contribution.

The second Swiss contribution was approved by Parliament on 3 December 2019 with two federal decrees (cohesion and migration framework credits). This approval is however subject to the condition that no commitments may be made as long as the EU adopts discriminatory measures against Switzerland. This condition has so far blocked the implementation of the contribution.

At its meeting today, the Federal Council decided to prepare a dispatch for the deletion of this condition: specifically, the federal decrees on the framework credits of the second Swiss contribution approved by Parliament at the end of 2019 are to be amended in order for the second Swiss contribution to be unblocked. The related dispatch will be submitted to the Federal Assembly in the autumn session of 2021.

In implementing the contribution, the Federal Council wishes to underscore, following its decision to end the negotiations on the institutional agreement, that Switzerland will remain a reliable partner of the EU in the future. The Federal Council remains committed to ensuring that Switzerland is not discriminated against and, among other things, is not treated differently from other third countries in EU equivalence processes.

The implementation of the second contribution also requires the MoU with the EU to be finalised. This is not a legally binding document, but serves as the substantive basis for the conclusion of bilateral implementation agreements with the partner states. The aim is for the corresponding talks to be resumed quickly.

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