Switzerland backs new talks with Brussels to update EU relations

By Thomson Reuters Mar 8, 2024 | 8:04 AM

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government on Friday formally approved a negotiating mandate for talks with Brussels to update the country’s relationship with the European Union after a previous bid unraveled in 2021.

“The negotiations on the package aim to stabilize and further develop bilateral relations between Switzerland and the European Union,” the government said in a statement.

Switzerland said in December that unrestricted access to the EU market was the cornerstone of the plan, which aims to update existing agreements with the single market and conclude new sectoral agreements in areas including electricity and food safety.

Both sides had spent years working on a new treaty but critics argued that the accord excessively infringe on Swiss sovereignty, leading to the termination of that plan in 2021.

(Reporting by Dave Graham)