Calmy-Rey to push for EU bilateral accords
Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey remains confident that Switzerland can negotiate a third round of bilateral treaties with the European Union.
In Hungary for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, Calmy-Rey praised EU President José Manuel Barroso as “an open man” on Thursday.
“There is every chance that Switzerland [and the EU] can agree on a new basis for common negotiations,” she said during a joint news conference with Hungarian President Pal Schmitt in Budapest.
Relations between Switzerland and the EU have been strained in recent times, particularly over issues of taxation.
Over the past decade Switzerland has agreed two sets of bilateral accords with the EU covering a range of issues, but the EU has said it wants a more comprehensive agreement, including an arbitration body.
Calmy-Rey, who is also Switzerland’s foreign minister, is likely to push the case for a third round of bilateral negotiations during a visit to Brussels next week.
Hungary is the current holder of the EU presidency. The two countries have agreed to strengthen fiscal, economic and cultural ties.
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