Federal Council approves memorandum of understanding with EU and wishes to expedite implementation of Switzerland's second contribution

Press releases, 24.11.2021

On 24 November, the Federal Council approved the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the EU regarding the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. Negotiations with partner countries on the relevant implementation agreements can now go ahead.

Swiss–EU talks on the non-legally binding MoU have intensified following Parliament's decision at the end of September to release the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. At their meeting on 15 November, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the agreement on the MoU at technical level.

On 24 November, the Federal Council approved the MoU, reiterating its intention to expedite implementation of the second Swiss contribution. This sends another positive signal to the EU that Switzerland seeks to continue the bilateral approach.

The MoU sets out the key terms governing the second Swiss contribution, including the total amount, the allocation of funds between partner countries, thematic priorities, and the basic principles applying to cooperation and implementation. These terms are in line with the Federal Council's dispatch on the second Swiss contribution from 2018 and the framework credits approved by Parliament in autumn 2021. The MoU thus provides a framework for the planned implementation agreements with partner countries. Accordingly, the Federal Council has decided to start negotiating the terms of those agreements with the countries concerned.

The parties are expected to sign the MoU once the EU has completed its own internal approval process.

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