The European Union’s (EU) ambassador to Switzerland, Petros Mavromichalis, is confident that a future package of agreements between Switzerland and the EU will be concluded.
The advantages far outweigh any possible disadvantages, he believes.
“I think there is some assurance that what is on the table is close enough to an agreement that both parties can agree to,” said Mavromichalis in an interview with RTS’s Forum programme on Sunday.
“We’re not starting from scratch”, the ambassador pointed out. Switzerland and the EU have been negotiating institutional issues for almost 15 years. The problems are well known. “During the exploratory talks, we concentrated on the most sensitive issues to see if there was a way of resolving them to the satisfaction of both parties.”
For Mavromichalis, what Switzerland stands to gain is essentially the preservation and strengthening of a relationship model with the EU that is tailor-made to suit it. “Beyond that, we will be able to build on and, for example, conclude three new agreements requested by Switzerland”.
The ambassador is also keen to reassure the Swiss about any possible loss of sovereignty or pressure on salaries. “We are not talking about Switzerland joining the EU, which would mean sharing sovereignty with the other member states. We are simply talking about Switzerland’s participation in the internal market and therefore compliance wi th its rules”.
As for pressure on wages, Mavromichalis believes that this is just a fear or a bogeyman. Switzerland is not a unique or isolated case. The EU member states have very different levels of wages and economic development.
Mavromichalis is also confident of convincing the Swiss people. “I think that most of the votes on the European question have been won in Switzerland. We shouldn’t be afraid of that”.
Source: Swiss Info