Most Swiss back draft deal on future relations with EU

Author thumbnail
The Local - [email protected]
Most Swiss back draft deal on future relations with EU
File photo: Depositphotos"

A total of 60 percent of Swiss voters say they are in favour of the current draft deal on the future of the country's bilateral relations with the EU, according to a new poll.


By contrast, 35 percent of people polled are against the deal currently on the table, according to the poll commissioned by the pharmaceutical industry group Interpharma.

The controversial 'framework deal' is designed to set the ground rules for the future of bilateral relations between Brussels and Bern. These relations are currently based on around 20 main agreements and 100 secondary agreements that have come into force since 1992.

The majority of voters for all political parties, with the exception of the conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP), said they were in favour of the proposed deal.

Read also: What you need to know about the new draft Swiss–EU deal

Meanwhile, support is stronger in the traditionally more pro-European French-speaking part of Switzerland (69 percent) than in the German-speaking part of the country (58 percent).

The survey run by gfs.bern is the first representative poll on voter opinions regarding the draft Swiss–EU deal.

“The results show that the Swiss population is aware of the meaning of the draft framework deal,” said Interpharma director René Buholzer of the results.

Reluctant support

But gfs.bern noted that Swiss voters only “reluctantly” support the proposed deal on the grounds it would ensure the Swiss economy remained strong in the future.

If given the choice, however, the top choice among Swiss voters would be for the current system of bilateral relations to remain in place. The second most-favoured option would be a simple free trade agreement between Switzerland and the EU.

The draft deal then comes in third in order of preferences among voters.

Intense political debate

The 35-page deal has been the subject of intense political debate in Switzerland in recent months.

The left-wing Socialists have expressed concerns the deal in its current form would threaten the country’s high salaries by forcing changes to the current Swiss wage protection scheme.

For their part, the SVP object to the fact that the Court of Justice of the European Union would have a decisive role in dispute resolution between Brussels and Bern.

Read also: Swiss MPs agree to pay €1 billion towards EU cohesion funds

There are also concerns over the fact that EU rules on state assistance would be introduced with a possible impact on Switzerland’s cantonal banks.

However, the new gfs.bern poll suggests pragmatic Swiss voters may be able to see past these concerns in the interests of financial and economic security.

The EU has said the deal in its current form is non-negotiable but the Swiss government announced a consultation process concerning the deal in December and is currently trying to shore up support for the arrangements.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also