EU-Swiss agreement extended deadline

The European Commission agreed to grant  Switzerland six more months  to achieve progress in a dispute over a deal governing EU market access and  free movement of labor.

The agreement negotiated between the European Commission and Switzerland is meant to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation including agricultural trade and aviation.

The EU had expected to strike a deal by the end of December, but earlier this month Swiss said they need more time for consultations with businesses and citizens at home.

However at press-conference the EU Commissioner on Neighborhood policy Johannes Hahn underlined the has not interest in ‘special deals‘. “…Bern should understand that   appetite for special deals and exceptions have drastically diminished over the last years. Now up to CH (Confoederatio Helvetica-editor) to tell us results of consultations. Negotiations are over.’

The European Commission proposes to extend for six months its decision to recognise trading venues in Switzerland as eligible for compliance with the trading obligation for shares set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation.

Once adopted, the measure will ensure that businesses and markets can continue to operate smoothly and without any disruptions after 31 December 2018.

 In addition to the fact that the Commission has already threatened to refuse the renewal of equivalence for the stock market in case of rejection of the framework agreement, the Hahn has also been clear on the issue: without agreement, Switzerland will not be able to claim new access to the EU internal market or even the updating of existing agreements, which will pose significant challenges for some sectors, such as medical devices.

“A temporary extension of equivalence should provide time to Switzerland to finalise its internal consultation on the Institutional Framework Agreement. It will also ensure continuity for portfolio managers and brokers active in Swiss equities. We want that European firms can continue trading in Swiss equities both in the EU and on the Swiss exchanges. Open and competitive stock markets are vital for a healthy economy and to provide reliable income sources for investors in equities” Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner for Euro said.

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