A group called Opération Libero and the Green party plan to come together to launch a referendum to require Switzerland’s federal government to sign new deal with the EU.
At a meeting on 26 May 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Council evaluated the results of Switzerland’s negotiations with the EU around the institutional framework agreement, an agreement aimed at replacing the country’s current patchwork of agreements with the bloc, and decided not to sign, unilaterally ending discussions with Brussels.
Since then very little has happened. Those behind the planned referendum are concerned that Switzerland is being progressively sidelined by the EU, something that is happening without any input from parliament or voters, reported 20 Minutes.
The initiative is aimed at ensuring Switzerland has access to the European market and is able to create new ways to cooperate. If the vote was successful, the Federal Council would have three years to reach an agreement with Brussels.
It is not clear how this would work from a negotiating perspective. If the EU knew that the party it was negotiating against was constitutionally bound to accept a deal by a fixed date, it could drag its feet until the deadline knowing that the deal would have to be swallowed.
The PLR/FDP and Centre parties have said they won’t join the initiative. However, the Liberal Green and Socialist parties remain open to coming on board, although the Socialist party has voiced concerns around salary dumping.