In 2004, a series of sectoral agreements (known as “bilateral II”) were signed, including Switzerland`s participation in Schengen and Dublin, as well as agreements on the taxation of savings, processed agricultural products, statistics, anti-fraud, participation in the EU media programme and the Environment Agency. The Swiss federal government has recently undergone several major political reversals, but specific agreements with the EU on the free movement of workers and the sectors of tax evasion have been dealt with within the Swiss banking system. This was the result of the first Ue-Switzerland summit in May 2004, during which nine bilateral agreements were signed. Romano Prodi, former president of the European Commission, said the agreements had “brought Switzerland closer to Europe.” Joseph Deiss of the Federal Council said: “We may not be at the centre of Europe, but we are definitely at the heart of Europe.” He continued: “We are entering a new era of relations between our two entities.” [33] Switzerland participated in the negotiations of the EEA agreement with the EU and signed it on 2 May 1992 and applied for EU membership on 20 May 1992. In a Swiss referendum on 6 December 1992, membership of the EEA was rejected. Subsequently, the Swiss government suspended EU accession negotiations until further notice. By ratifying the second round of bilateral agreements, the Federal Council in 2006 lowered the characterisation of Switzerland`s full adherence to a “strategic objective” to an “option”. Membership continued to be the government`s objective and a “long-term goal” of the Federal Council until 2016, when Switzerland`s request, which had been frozen, was withdrawn. [25] [26] The request was adopted in June by the Council of States and then by the Bundesrat.

[27] [28] [5] In a letter dated 27 July, the Federal Council informed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that it was withdrawing its request. [29] Switzerland`s economic and trade relations with the EU are mainly governed by a series of bilateral agreements in which Switzerland has agreed to adopt certain aspects of EU legislation in exchange for access to part of the EU internal market. In 2009, the Swiss voted in favour of extending the free movement of people to Bulgaria and Romania from 59.6% to 40.4%. [8] While the 2004/38/EC European Directive on the right of free movement and residence does not apply directly to Switzerland, the bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the free movement of persons has the same rights for both Swiss citizens and eee and their family members. [9] This is called the “guillotine clause.” While the bilateral approach theoretically guarantees the right to refuse the application of the new EU rules to Switzerland, the clause limits the scope of application in practice. The agreement on the European Economic Area contains a similar clause. Following the rejection of EEA membership in 1992, Switzerland and the EU agreed on a set of seven sectoral agreements signed in 1999 (called “bilateral I” in Switzerland).