Europe Folder

EU membership not an option: center calls for pragmatic solutions

The center took charge of the rest of the procedure in the Europe file. It calls on the Federal Council to pragmatically defend the interests of Switzerland.

The middle faction around the party’s president, Gerhard Pfister, took care of the European dossier. (file photo)


The middle faction met on Saturday for the retreat. The big topic here: the Europe file. In the spring of 2021, Die Mitte understood that the Federal Council had broken off the negotiations for the framework agreement. However, the challenges in relations with the EU have not diminished since then – on the contrary, writes Die Mitte in a press release. The EU would have positioned itself clearly, but the Bundesrat lacked a recognizable strategy.

It therefore demands that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly submit a realistic assessment of the situation to the Federal Council so that it has the “bases necessary for decision-making”. Further delays would harm Switzerland. It also calls on the Federal Council to “pragmatically defend the interests of Switzerland in Brussels”. The balance between the economic fabric, the greatest possible sovereignty and social responsibility must be maintained.

However, joining the EU is not an option for Die Mitte. “Such ideological reflections will get us nowhere,” party chairman Gerhard Pfister was quoted in the statement as saying. “The center sees the solution in a constant and pragmatic defense of the interests of Switzerland; economic cooperation with social responsibility.

No automatic transfer of rights in the event of free movement of persons

The parliamentary group sees room for maneuver and potential, for example, in the existing sectoral agreements in the field of boosting the transfer of rights and conflict resolution. “The Federal Council is therefore called upon to define the areas of branch agreements in which a dynamic adoption of the law and a mechanism for settling disputes are also in the interest of Switzerland”, explains the Councilor to the States Benedikt Würth according to the Press release. . “These regulations must be clear, binding and precise.”

The agreement on the free movement of persons, on the other hand, must remain exempt from it. The protection of salary levels and social security as well as the principles of Swiss migration policy are non-negotiable for Die Mitte. The Federal Council should show how it can guarantee this. The parliamentary group is considering “practical protection clauses”.

The party can imagine a “stabilization of cohesion payments”. However, these concessions must always be linked to practical considerations. A “preventive obedience” on the part of Switzerland to unilateral adjustments without including them in a concrete negotiation package is not in its interest. And the EU must concede a binding counterpart to an agreement – ​​such as unlimited access to cooperation programs in the fields of research, education and culture. (abi)