Despite strong opposition from the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) on several points, a majority of Switzerland’s parliament voted in favour of a CHF 1.3 billion payment to the EU.
The “solidarity payment”, destined to reduce european social and economic disparities and help cover some of the costs associated with migration, was accepted by a majority Switzerland’s parliament, according to the newspaper 20 Minutes.
The bulk of the money would be spent on professional education for young people in countries that joined the EU after 2004. The rest would be spent on migration, in particular in EU countries most exposed to it. The payment would be spread over 10 years.
A majority also agreed the payment would be blocked if the EU adopted discriminatory measures against Switzerland, without agreeing to attach more specific strings to the payment.
A poll by Swiss media company Tamedia last year suggests a majority of Swiss are against the CHF 1.3 billion payment. 66% said they were either definitely or probably against it.
According to Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the payment would be a political signal to the EU to aid the development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and the bloc.
The plan will now be discussed by the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house.