Switzerland Free Trade Agreements

Following the refusal of EEA membership in 1992, Switzerland and the EU agreed on a set of seven sectoral agreements signed in 1999 (called “bilateral I” in Switzerland). These include the free movement of persons, technical barriers to trade, public procurement, agriculture and air and land transport. In addition, a scientific research agreement has enabled Switzerland to be fully used in the EU`s research framework programmes. China and Switzerland signed a free trade agreement (NAFTA) in 2013, after only two years of negotiations. The agreement entered into force on 1 July 2014. The speed with which the CSFTFTA was signed reflects the political support for the agreement in both countries. Switzerland, a neutral nation that is one of the nations least affected by China-related security problems, has striven to access the Chinese market and establish its presence before the EU. China saw Switzerland as a gateway to Europe and saw the trade deal as an important test that could alleviate the EU`s traditional reluctance to negotiate with China. In the Swiss vote on immigration in February 2014, a popular initiative “against mass immigration”, the Swiss people narrowly approved measures to restrict the free movement of foreign nationals in Switzerland.

The European Commission said it needed to examine the impact of the result on EU-Switzerland relations. [14] Due to Switzerland`s refusal to grant freedom of movement to Croatia, the European Union only accepted Switzerland`s access to the Erasmus+ student mobility programme as a “partner country” and not as a “programme country”, and the EU froze negotiations on access to the European electricity market. . . .

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