مفوض أوروبي يتحدث عن تحقيق 'بعض التقدم' في العلاقات بين برن وبروكسل
His talks had also allowed a better understanding of some issues, he told the press on Thursday evening. However, he said a number of issues remained outstanding.“We want to continue working in the right direction,” he said, adding he was convinced that progress is possible if there is political will on both sides.
Sefcovic also maintained the pressure, saying he wished to see Swiss-EU negotiations concluded before summer 2024, when there will be a new EU Commission following spring European elections.
This was Sefcovic's first visit to Switzerland in his capacity as Commissioner in charge of Swiss-EU relations. It included a meeting on Wednesday with Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis, a conference at the University of Fribourg, and meetings with labour unions.
The Swiss government in 2021 rejected the results of negotiations on an institutional framework accord regulating about existing 120 bilateral agreements with the 27-nation bloc.
A series of exploratory talks have taken place since March 2022 to try to re-start formal talks between the two sides.
A Swiss foreign ministry statement on Wednesday said Switzerland and the EU had come closer together in several areas in the past few months. Despite this, it said“a number of outstanding issues remain, which will require efforts from both sides in order to further narrow the gaps in the shared understanding'.
The main sticking points are state aid rules, salary protection and EU citizens' access to social security benefits in Switzerland.
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