Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey in Brussels

Bern, Press release, 08.02.2011

Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey met with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek on Tuesday in Brussels. An important topic discussed during the official visit was the possibility of a holistic and coordinated approach to the relationship between Switzerland and the EU.

The bilateral approach has brought good results for both sides, said Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey during her visit to Brussels on Tuesday. While cooperation results in the fields of business, science and security are very good, the sovereignty issue requires a more nuanced approach, the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA stated.

"It must be our ambition to further intensify our efficient cooperation with the EU, in particular the economic cooperation, while keeping enough room for our autonomous decision-making processes", stressed the Federal President. "Switzerland may not under any circumstances become a de facto EU member state without any codecision rights. The automatic adoption of EU law is not an option for Switzerland."

Wide range of topics

Switzerland and the EU are currently involved in discussions on a wide range of topics. Institutional Issues stand at the center of it. Another topic under discussion are the ongoing or planned negotiations on equal market access for Swiss companies (electricity; agriculture, food and product safety, public health; REACH) and a number of cooperation initiatives with the EU (civil satellite navigation, emission trading, etc.). The last group of topics concerns tax issues.

Holistic and coordinated approach

The two parties agreed on a holistic and coordinated approach and decided to develop and specify this approach further soon. This was the result of the discussions between Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey and José Manual Barroso, the President of the European Commission. With Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey discussed the importance of the bilateral relations, the impact of the Euro crisis as well as international matters.

The Head of the FDFA Micheline Calmy-Rey discussed the importance of the European Parliament for Switzerland, especially as the Parliament received additional powers under the Lisbon Treaty, with the President of the EU Parliament Jerzy Buzek. This was the first ever meeting between a Federal President of Switzerland and a President of the European Parliament. The President of the European Parliament will come to Berne on an official visit in June this year.


More information:
Adrian Sollberger, FDFA Press Officer, tel. 0041 79 301 62 84
Daniel Klingele, Swiss Mission to the European Union, tel. 0032 473 98342


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs