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Old 27.05.2021, 21:34
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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The one thing I honestly dont get: The Swiss have a vote on burqas, minarets, whether cows should be allowed to have horns and what not else. This is the most important contract in at least a decade with the by far most important trading partner of the country. Yet the Bundesrat just decides on their own and clearly not unanimously either...

The SVP celebrates it as a victory of independence and democracy, but I fail to see any of the two.
The Federal Council must be convinced that framework agreement is a good agreement for Switzerland. It is the responsibility of the Federal Council to sell it to the Swiss people. It cannot say: we have negotiated this agreement with the EU, it’s a bit rubbish but have a vote on it anyway.

FDP, Mitte and SP are very divided on the question of the Framework agreement. Had the Federal Council submitted the framework agreement to the Parliament and maybe later held a referendum on it nasty internal fights would have broken out within these parties, which would have helped only the SVP. So the leaders of FDP, Mitte and SP convinced the Federal Council to bury the agreement, which had been dead for a while anyway. It’s impossible to win a referendum if the SVP and the unions are dead set against it and the other big parties split on the issue.

Last edited by Calvin; 27.05.2021 at 21:55.
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  #202  
Old 27.05.2021, 21:55
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Resounding no? Wasn't there a poll lately that suggested 60% in favour?
I think the problem is that most political parties had no clear position here, and they were afraid of looking clueless and weak in a campaign.
So yes, let's go back to voting on cows. And pad our shoulders for having been tough on the EU.
I do not share your confidence in GFS. Quite a few flops to their credit. Basically, give them the answer you’re looking for and they’ll try to deliver. After all, it’s your money.
Certainly agree that the Swiss government has a lot of egg on its face. All parties are clueless and divided. However, just the recent handling by the EU of various serious issues leads me to prefer a messy breakfast with the Bundesrat. Bruxelles seems quite deluded about their worth and continues to harbour aspirations far beyond their capabilities.
Putting it to a vote is obviously a non-starter now. However, you don’t have to be a super patriot to reject the failed agreement. Even had it passed parliament, I’m sure the following referendum would have put paid to it.
BTW: padded shoulders went out with Miami Vice and cows have feelings too
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  #203  
Old 27.05.2021, 22:00
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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and cows have feelings too
Yes, this feels like a good place to end.
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  #204  
Old 27.05.2021, 22:05
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Yes, this feels like a good place to end.
Good night - in other countries cows are holy and still have to eat garbage
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Old 27.05.2021, 22:16
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Re: Swiss-Exit from EU bilateral deals by letting them lapse due to no agreement ?

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He's a closet Italian.

Tom
Italians are renown for their dress sense - and they rarely come out
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Old 27.05.2021, 22:20
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

Screw the EU.

It even rhymes.

The EU is Schicklgruber's dream come true!

Tom
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Old 27.05.2021, 22:23
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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The one thing I honestly dont get: The Swiss have a vote on burqas, minarets, whether cows should be allowed to have horns and what not else. This is the most important contract in at least a decade with the by far most important trading partner of the country. Yet the Bundesrat just decides on their own and clearly not unanimously either...

The SVP celebrates it as a victory of independence and democracy, but I fail to see any of the two.
How do you think a referendum saying we enter the EEA through the back door under the jurisdiction of the European Courts and are subject to "dynamic alignment" for time immemorial would go down in Switzerland?

Does the US treat Canada the way the EU treats Switzerland (and the UK)? By trying to park it's judicial tanks on its neighbours lawn. Genuinely, stuff them. Yes it might cost $, but there are some things you don't compromise on. Switzerland has already given away quite a bit of ground.

I normally agree with Kosmo on pretty much everything as a liberal right winger but I think our national background may help it putting clear blue water between us here.

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  #208  
Old 27.05.2021, 22:40
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Screw the EU.

It even rhymes.

The EU is Schicklgruber's dream come true!

Tom
Dunno about the dream but I like your evasion of Godwin's law
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  #209  
Old 28.05.2021, 09:04
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

This deal stank, everyone knew it. Hidden behind the disagreement points was the dreaded European Court of Justice being your instance for arbitration. You can imagine how well that would go every time for Switzerland with no Swiss judges sitting on that court. ECJ is part of the EU, it''s not a body of the Council of Europe, like the European Court of Human Rights (and others) are. Not that the latter should be trusted either, with NGOs contributing judges.

Switzerland will manage fine. If the EU wants to expire all the bilateral deals, it'll have a cost, such as perhaps revoking employment for all those EU workers.

I noticed a very substantial media campaign in the francophone press of the country to try and save the deal, rolling out alll the big guns of the EU lobby. They even pulled the leftist trick of getting a poll in favour of the EU, which is used every time there's a leftist ballot initiative coming up for a vote. Trusting those is a fool's errand. Most people don't know the real consequences allowing the four freedoms would have on the country, with salaries crashing and tens of millions of EU citizens clamouring for social benefits they didn't pay for.

Hopefully the Federal Council won't throw the EU too many bones, such as signing up for that "load sharing" deal the Southern countries want to push illegal immigrants coming off African and the Middle East shores into every EU country via quotas. There's a far left lobby here clamouring to do so, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Virtue signaling makes for really lousy foreign policy.
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Old 28.05.2021, 09:23
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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This deal stank, everyone knew it. Hidden behind the disagreement points was the dreaded European Court of Justice being your instance for arbitration. You can imagine how well that would go every time for Switzerland with no Swiss judges sitting on that court. ECJ is part of the EU, it''s not a body of the Council of Europe, like the European Court of Human Rights (and others) are. Not that the latter should be trusted either, with NGOs contributing judges.
False. The dispute resolution mechanism would have been arbitration with each side selecting one arbitrator and the two agreeing on a chair. This is absolutely standard and creates normally a balanced tribunal.

The tribunal would then decide in any disputes under the agreements. If there was a question of interpretation of EU law, the tribunal would have to rely on the EUCJ. Also this is not abnormal - in any interpretation question of any national law, a tribunal or any judge would want to rely on the views of that nations (or supranation's) highest court.
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  #211  
Old 28.05.2021, 09:29
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

I mean this list of votes on CH-EU relationship is not that short... It seems to me the Swiss voted several times on the subject and the bottom line seems to be "we want a close relationship with the EU but not be in the EU".



3 December 1972: free trade agreement with the European Communities is approved by 72.5% of voters
6 December 1992: joining the European Economic Area is rejected by 50.3% of voters. This vote strongly highlighted the cultural divide between the German- and the French-speaking cantons, the Röstigraben. The only German-speaking cantons voting for the EEA were Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, which border on France and Germany.
8 June 1997: the federal popular initiative "negotiations concerning EU membership: let the people decide!" on requiring the approval of a referendum and the Cantons to launch accession negotiations with the EU (« Négociations d'adhésion ŕ l'UE : que le peuple décide ! ») is rejected by 74.1% of voters.
21 May 2000: the Bilateral agreements with the EU are accepted by 67.2% of voters.
4 March 2001: the federal popular initiative "yes to Europe!" (« Oui ŕ l'Europe ! ») on opening accession negotiations with the EU is rejected by 76.8% of voters.
5 June 2005: the Schengen Agreement and the Dublin Regulation are approved by 54.6% of voters.
25 September 2005: the extension of the free movement of persons to the ten new members of the European Union is accepted by 56.0% of voters.
26 November 2006: a cohesion contribution of one billion for the ten new member states of the European Union (Eastern Europe Cooperation Act) is approved by 53.4% of voters.
8 February 2009: the extension of the free movement of persons to new EU members Bulgaria and Romania is approved by 59.61% of voters.
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Old 28.05.2021, 09:37
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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...If the EU wants to expire all the bilateral deals, it'll have a cost, such as perhaps revoking employment for all those EU workers.
Now just imagine the effect on the Swiss economy if that were to happen....the economy would tank completely.
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  #213  
Old 28.05.2021, 11:53
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Now just imagine the effect on the Swiss economy if that were to happen....the economy would tank completely.
Well if they expire them all, the economy would already be in tank, with surplus workers galore. Brexit taught one thing, you have to have a hardline as a starting point of the negociation, if any, with the EU. Otherwise you just get forced into deals that drag you closer into vassal status.

Meanwhile, Operation Libero, the NGO aimed at tricking young people into voting for people they wouldn't normally consider, is looking at ... changing articles 54 and 197 of the Swiss constitution so they can drag Switzerland into an EU membership orbit. More on that to come fairly soon I suspect. The Pro EU camp is in full swing trying to set a new agenda.
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Old 28.05.2021, 12:30
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Well if they expire them all, the economy would already be in tank, with surplus workers galore. Brexit taught one thing, you have to have a hardline as a starting point of the negociation, if any, with the EU. Otherwise you just get forced into deals that drag you closer into vassal status.

Meanwhile, Operation Libero, the NGO aimed at tricking young people into voting for people they wouldn't normally consider, is looking at ... changing articles 54 and 197 of the Swiss constitution so they can drag Switzerland into an EU membership orbit. More on that to come fairly soon I suspect. The Pro EU camp is in full swing trying to set a new agenda.
How balanced. So the right is entitled to launch initiatives against closer ties with the EU, but the left is not? Or at least there it is "tricking into voting"?

I am not at all of the view that Switzerland should join the EU, and maybe it should not accept the Rahmenabkommen as is. I believe it needs a nuanced discussion and careful evaluation of the pros and cons. And probably a vote. I appreciate this is not the time and the waters need to calm. But I am frustrated about the increasingly populist and emotional discussion.

"Vassal status", "financial oppression", "judicial tanks" et cetera. And so many false claims.

Last edited by komsomolez; 28.05.2021 at 12:56.
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  #215  
Old 28.05.2021, 13:14
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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How balanced. So the right is entitled to launch initiatives against closer ties with the EU, but the left is not? Or at least there it is "tricking into voting"?

I am not at all of the view that Switzerland should join the EU, and maybe it should not accept the Rahmenabkommen as is. I believe it needs a nuanced discussion and careful evaluation of the pros and cons. And probably a vote. I appreciate this is not the time and the waters need to calm. But I am frustrated about the increasingly populist and emotional discussion.

"Vassal status", "financial oppression", "judicial tanks" et cetera. And so many false claims.
Maybe time to recapitulate.

If I understand well, without the new framework agreement, the existing bilateral agreements remain valid and working. The EU can unilaterally decide to not follow the past bilaterals if the new one is not agreed. The consequences are to not be able to export (that easily) new medical devices, some things about the health market I don't understand and....be left out of the EU electricity market.

This is the really interesting part for me: electricity. Worst thing can happen without the new framework agreement is that electricity is more expensive in Switzerland because a small fraction our electricity is imported and only for winter. So, anyone cares today? NO.

But, the Swiss want out of nuclear. There's a plan (or a dream?) to shut down Swiss nuclear power plants Gösgen on 2029 and Liebstadt by 2034. That will force CH to rely more on electricity imports, and at that point the higher fraction of electricity imports will be a serious bite.

This is very interesting because we want everything at the same time: end of nuclear, no wind power because the generators are ugly in Jura, no natural gas powered station because CO2, and no framework agreement with EU to make electricity imports cheaper. Since not possible to have everything, the Swiss have to change their minds at least for one thing.

I'd bet a 12 pack of Swiss wine that the Swiss will rekindle the fire with nuclear power before accepting the new framework agreement in its current state. So, great news for PSI, EPFL, ETH and all the consultants with relevant knowledge.

Sorry, I just digressed and have no coherent message. Take it as Friday post
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Old 28.05.2021, 13:30
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Maybe time to recapitulate.

If I understand well, without the new framework agreement, the existing bilateral agreements remain valid and working. The EU can unilaterally decide to not follow the past bilaterals if the new one is not agreed. The consequences are to not be able to export (that easily) new medical devices, some things about the health market I don't understand and....be left out of the EU electricity market.

This is the really interesting part for me: electricity. Worst thing can happen without the new framework agreement is that electricity is more expensive in Switzerland because a small fraction our electricity is imported and only for winter. So, anyone cares today? NO.

But, the Swiss want out of nuclear. There's a plan (or a dream?) to shut down Swiss nuclear power plants Gösgen on 2029 and Liebstadt by 2034. That will force CH to rely more on electricity imports, and at that point the higher fraction of electricity imports will be a serious bite.

This is very interesting because we want everything at the same time: end of nuclear, no wind power because the generators are ugly in Jura, no natural gas powered station because CO2, and no framework agreement with EU to make electricity imports cheaper. Since not possible to have everything, the Swiss have to change their minds at least for one thing.

I'd bet a 12 pack of Swiss wine that the Swiss will rekindle the fire with nuclear power before accepting the new framework agreement in its current state. So, great news for PSI, EPFL, ETH and all the consultants with relevant knowledge.

Sorry, I just digressed and have no coherent message. Take it as Friday post
Europe needs Swiss electrical capacity. For example if the Swiss were to deny European grid operators access to the trans Alpine transmission lines, the EU internal electricity market would be in serious trouble. Of course they could build new lines going around Switzerland but it would take decades and involve fighting off tens of thousands of NIMBYs in court.

Swiss hydro storage also makes a huge contribution to grid stability across Europe. The mountains in Belgium just aren't high enough to make the concept work.

So Switzerland's electrical grid is very much an ace up Switzerland's sleeve and I hope they play it wisely. Ditto with NEAT and cross-Switzerland rail freight capacity. Remember Switzerland built new base tunnels under both the Gotthard and the Lötschberg in the time it took France and Italy to even agree they actually want to build (and fund) the Mont Cenis tunnel, which even if it does get fully built, will have a far inferior capacity to the Swiss lines.
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Old 28.05.2021, 13:35
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

Winter imports are already not a small share. And the decision to abandon nuclear is as insane for Switzerland as it is for Germany. This is however more an energy policy topic and a problem of an unbalanced discussion where the Greens have managed to convince many people that 100% renewable is possible.

But of course, the lack of Switzerland's full integration into the common power market is another consequence of not being able to strike an institutional deal.
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Old 28.05.2021, 13:39
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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Europe needs Swiss electrical capacity. For example if the Swiss were to deny European grid operators access to the trans Alpine transmission lines, the EU internal electricity market would be in serious trouble. Of course they could build new lines going around Switzerland but it would take decades and involve fighting off tens of thousands of NIMBYs in court.

Swiss hydro storage also makes a huge contribution to grid stability across Europe. The mountains in Belgium just aren't high enough to make the concept work.

So Switzerland's electrical grid is very much an ace up Switzerland's sleeve and I hope they play it wisely. Ditto with NEAT and cross-Switzerland rail freight capacity. Remember Switzerland built new base tunnels under both the Gotthard and the Lötschberg in the time it took France and Italy to even agree they actually want to build (and fund) the Mont Cenis tunnel, which even if it does get fully built, will have a far inferior capacity to the Swiss lines.
The moment the Swiss would cut the transmission capacity is the moment when Switzerland has blackouts. Maybe it's then also dark elsewhere if that makes you happier.
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Old 28.05.2021, 13:41
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

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For example if the Swiss were to deny European grid operators access to the trans Alpine transmission lines, the EU internal electricity market would be in serious trouble.
That is not a robust bargaining strategy. How do you exactly bargain by losing income and still paying fixed costs?

We're not letting your electrons pass, therefore we lose income, the infrastructure keeps depreciating and maintenance costs are still there. Suck it EU!

The being left out of EU electricity markets is a trading issue not a physical one. Trading is controlled by regulations, therefore agreements. That's why it has an impact on prices, not causing blackouts.

PS. Quite sure a fraction of our pensions are invested in Axpo, Alpiq and BKW. So, not viable to not let EU electrons pass.
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Old 28.05.2021, 14:20
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Re: Swiss/EU negotiations: what's the bottom line?

Both EU and CH benefit from an agreement, the same goes between UK and EU.

Only delusional people can think that the UK or Switzerland can thrive without having a relationship with a commercial block of 27 countries and 400M people right at their border and only delusional people can think the EU can just set up a blockade with those two Countries.

It's always a matter of balance. The UK-EU deal was complicated mostly for the issue of Northern Ireland. If Ulster were to be a part of Eire, probably they would have reached an agreement much earlier.

Switzerland is a landlocked country literally surrounded by the EU (well except for those few kms of border with Liechtestein) so the negotiation is a bit more complicated as both parties know well they can't just have a wall going from Geneva to Vaduz... Free movement of people and goods will need to go on and it's in the best interest of both. As I said all this seems a bit posturing and an agreement will be reached under another guise.
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