Switzerland and the EU: close, but not too close

The European Union assumed that Switzerland would one day join the club and allowed it to pursue a bilateral path. But, if anything, the Alpine country in the heart of Europe is moving further and further away. It has no intention of joining.

This content was published on February 10, 2022 - 10:00

The EU considers Switzerland a troublesome country. In 1992 it said no to the European Economic Area. In 2021 it unilaterally broke off negotiations on a framework agreement with the EU. Switzerland always says “Yes, gladly!” to economic cooperation, but “No, thanks!” to more political integration or membership. This has earned it a reputation in Brussels as a cherry-picker.

Some people say Switzerland’s wealth and stability are part of the reason for its reluctance to jump on the EU bandwagon. But that’s not the whole story. 

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