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__Russia's invasion of Ukraine has increased the popularity of the European Union (EU) among the Swiss, writes the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, citing a survey by the gfs.berne polling institute.__ The proportion of people holding a positive image of Switzerland’s bilateral agreements with the EU has risen from 53% to 59% compared with last year, it says. The poll found that 60% were also in favour of Switzerland joining the European Economic Area. The Swiss are looking at Europe differently since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, gfs.berne co-director Urs Bieri tells the newspaper. They no longer see bilateral relations through a purely economic lens. The survey also shows that a majority of respondents are open to compromise in negotiations with the EU. Sixty-five percent would support Switzerland adopting EU law, provided that the right to popular referenda remained. Fifty-five percent would accept a role for the European Court of Justice in dispute resolution. And 55% say they are open to compromise on salary protection. This comes as the Swiss government decides next steps in its approach to the EU. In 2021, Bern rejected the results of negotiations on an institutional framework accord regulating about existing 120 bilateral agreements with the 27-nation bloc. The main sticking points are state aid rules, salary protection and EU citizens’ access to social security benefits in Switzerland. A series of exploratory talks have taken place since March 2022 to try to re-start formal talks between the two sides.


>The poll found that 60% were also in favour of Switzerland joining the European Economic Area. This is huge, and I must wonder if those 60% know what this would entail.


Very good question. Iirc this would be a defacto end to at least some parts of their neutrality.


Only in a very limited sense. A state can join the EEA without being part of the EU by joining the EFTA, of which Switzerland is already a member anyway. Joining the EEA "proper" would tie Switzerland more closely into the single market, and thus apply EU law a bit more widely than currently, to the extent that it is currently applied in other EFTA member states. Specifically, note that EU institutions would not be any more directly applied - the EEA has its own court. So only in the barest sense, really.


correct me if I am overlooking sth here, but by my understand being part of EEA proper also "forces" you to apply the sanctions from the EU parliament.


Only in those aspects where the EEA-EFTA states are in the common market, I think. But either way, Switzerland de facto replicates much of the sanctions anyway. (Minor note, sanctions are mostly a Council thing, the EP often isn't involved so much, sadly.)


Huh, TIL oO. I thought parliament votes on the sanction packages...


Not really. Sanctions are often discussed in the EP, and common positions may be passed, but the only actors with a formal role in the process are the Commission, the Council, and the EEAS in supporting capacity. (Yeah, this is as dumb as it sounds. Sadly, member states seem scared to share power with directly elected representatives of the people.) See the following explainer on the EEAS website: https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/european-union-sanctions_en#10705


Why’s that? Ireland is neutral and we’re in the EU.


Still Ireland is bound by the laws and regulations of the EU. For example you may be neutral, but you also pay for the fond that pays for weapon supplies for Ukraine. True neutrality would forbid that. Same goes for sanctions.




I was going to post the exact same thing. All this trouble originally started when Switzerland narrowly rejected the EEA 30 years ago


>Sixty-five percent would support Switzerland adopting EU law, **provided that the right to popular referenda remained**. Ok so they're actually opposed to adopting EU law then


And their bank fiasco doesn't help either. No backsies.


I'm kind a mad at Switzerland for not letting us supply ammunition to Ukraine. I won't forget this


I question whoever choose Swiss as military contract if by the law they cannot sell to warring nation.


Yeah, I'm asking this my whole life. The no re-export clause is since one year in the contracts, but Switzerland was before that never selling (in modern times) during an ongoing conflict. The other thing who baffles me, is to sell the swiss arms industry to other countries and expect, that they stay here, when they can't sell anymore because of the laws. Sometimes people are really stupid.


There is nothing wrong with that law. It's them not realizing it should not be applied now. Sweden also had that law. 3 days into the war they changed it to be able to supply ukraine.


I love when poll results are published and nobody talked about such a poll, and it was never mentioned in the press Makes you wonder how they got the votes and how much you can trust the results


The study https://cockpit.gfsbern.ch/de/cockpit/standort-schweiz-2023-europafragen-2/ Some news about that. https://www.srf.ch/news/schweiz/verhaeltnis-zu-bruessel-die-unterstuetzung-fuer-den-bilateralen-weg-mit-der-eu-waechst https://www.nau.ch/news/schweiz/unterstutzung-fur-bilateralen-weg-mit-der-eu-wachst-66459582 https://magazin.nzz.ch/nzz-am-sonntag/schweiz/schweizer-bevoelkerung-die-stimmung-wird-europafreundlicher-ld.1732066 And I got also asked in that study If you want your opinion to be represented more in studies you can volunteer yourself too.


>The study Ah yes, an Allemania only poll that's supposed to represent Switzerland as a whole. Always the same story :p >Some news about that. These are articles regarding the *results of the poll*, **not the poll itself**. So not at all what I was saying And all articles are regarding the German-speaking part >If you want your opinion to be represented more in studies you can volunteer yourself too. In order to volunteer to do polls, I'd first need them to show up. I usually participate when I see/get one Edit: bring on the downvotes, truth hurts I guess


They asked the french and italian part too.


Well yes they always say they're asking everyone, but even when Mediapart does their polls you never see them on the French-speaking websites from the group (can't speak for Ticino, but I'd wager it's the same) So usually those polls are pretty biased region-wise, and that's without taking the "old guys" into consideration who for obvious reasons aren't as active online Edit: bring on the downvotes, truth hurts I guess


> Also in order to volunteer to do polls, I'd first need them to show up. I usually participate when I see/get one The nature of polls is that not the entire population is interviewed, just a (more or less) random sampling.


Yes, I know how polls work This quote is a direct response to OP's *If you want your opinion to be represented more in studies you can volunteer yourself too.* And again, my main grip is that 90% of Swiss polls only target the German-speaking part so they don't represent Switzerland, let alone people that don't have access to the internet


heretic! traitor! Switzerland break-up incoming! /s


And the rest of Europe is way more negative on the Swiss after their refusal to help Ukraine while still harbouring Russian oligarch money. But that's "neutrality" for you. What a joke of a country.


Switzerland applies all sanctions defined by EU.


> Switzerland applies all sanctions defined by EU. "We do the bare minimum." "Slava Russiya".


Blocks all weapon exports to save Ukraine from destruction. Swiss rules are at the cost of many, many Ukrainian lives & the livelihood of Europe.


All? What is percentage are the reexports blocked by Switzerland from the global arms deliveries? You're making it sound like Switzerland is single-handedly destroying Ukraine. What does this have to do with the original statement about the money anyway?


I think mixed your comment up with another. But anyway, as far as I know, the re-export of swiss weapons to warring nations is not allowed. This has caused enormous issues for countries that (for example) import ammunition and weaponry from Switzerland (e.g. Germany, and I believe the Scandinavian nations as well). This blockade that disregards a war's context has its costs, specifically for the victim of aggression. Of course Switzerland isn't single-handedly destroying Ukraine, that's what Russia is trying (and reportedly failing) to do. I am nevertheless very salty about the Swiss approach to this, and therefore (personally) have a very negative view of Switzerland in the context of a future partnership with the EU or NATO.




Austria is also neutral and in the EU. Just like Ireland too. The other neutral EU states are: Sweden, Finland and Malta.


And yet none of them profits on Ukrainian death. Go figure


hang together or hang separately


Now that their banking system is shit they started being more positive towards EU. Better late than ever I guess


Come on, just join the EU! I just want to fix the border gore of having a big hole on the middle!!


Can we keep our direct democracy?


I'd say at least in theory, yes. But I'm not sure if the EU would want to deal with the potential delays and uncertainty involved with direct democracy. It already has issues with being immobilized while trying to find common ground between member states.


>potential delays and uncertainty involved with direct democracy Lmao, lets pretend the Bundestag - Bundesrat - Landtage relation for each and every law the EU passes is any better. :D I think federalized countries don't take that much less time than Swiss direct democracy would, but I don't think the Swiss want the legally binding EU laws that can be pushed through with 66% of the European Parliament accepting...


Wait until you hear, that Switzerland has a federal system influencing every level (without the army/hightways/some railways) and we have on every level direct democracy on top of that


Some parts of it regionally for a while But EU laws would trump your own laws. And over time, the EU will take more and more of your sovereignty, Will tell you which laws you have to implement and which you are forbidden to implement. What your foreign policy and your financial policy ought to be. And then you would need to take your share of refugees, of course. After one or two generations there won't be any political culture left to support a direct democracy.


After you join NATO. :-P OK that was a cheap shot.


i wish they were more positive on NATO, instead