On 31 August 2022, the Federal Council approved the bilateral implementation agreements with eight partner countries. Why are these bilateral agreements still necessary when Switzerland and the EU have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on this subject?
The MoU is a political statement of intent that defines the framework and distribution formula for the second contribution. The bilateral implementation agreements with partner countries, which describe the cooperation programmes and go into much more detail in terms of content, are legally binding. Among other things, they set out the priority action areas and resolve institutional issues. Overall, these bilateral agreements reflect the distinctive character of the second Swiss contribution.