“The ball is clearly with Switzerland” – the new EU manager for Switzerland formulates clear expectations

In the EU, the Swiss dossier will in future be held by the Vice President of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, and no longer by the President Ursula von der Leyen. The Slovak is now expecting solutions from Switzerland.

Ein neuer Ansprechpartner für Ignazio Cassis bei der EU: Maros Sefcovic übernimmt das Schweiz-Dossier.

A new contact person for Ignazio Cassis at the EU: Maros Sefcovic takes over the Switzerland dossier.

Francisco Seco / Reuters

The expected change in responsibility for Switzerland within the EU has taken place. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has ceded the dossier to Vice President Maros Sefcovic, as the Slovak said on Tuesday after a meeting of the European Ministers. This “downgrading” is welcomed by Switzerland insofar as Ignazio Cassis, head of the foreign affairs department, is now responsible for the “ political dialogue »receives the necessary direct interlocutor in Brussels. Until now, for protocol reasons, these contacts were the responsibility of the Federal President nothing changes with the change of responsibilities. This became clear from Sefcovic’s recent remarks on bilateral relations. Switzerland and the EU are important partners in economic and political terms, said Sefcovic in a statement on Tuesday. That is precisely why the EU tried to solve the problems in bilateral relations with a framework agreement. The EU regrets all the more that Switzerland has unilaterally broken off the long-term negotiations.

Sefcovic signaled further readiness of the EU for talks – but under clear conditions: “Our door is always open, but the ball is now clearly with Switzerland”, he said. Switzerland must show clear political will and submit concrete and credible proposals to solve the serious open questions.

As evidence, so to speak, from the EU’s point of view, the payment of the blocked second cohesion billion is particularly important. The deal is currently pending in the federal parliament. On the part of Switzerland, there is an expectation that if these contributions are paid in favor of poorer EU countries, Brussels will meet Switzerland, for example with the Horizon Europe research program.

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