Overview


Overview
Relations between Switzerland and the EU are constantly developing. © DEA
Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe and is surrounded almost entirely by member states of the European Union (EU). In view of its geographic and cultural proximity and particularly due to its political and economic importance, the EU with its 27 member states is by far Switzerland’s most important partner.
Map "Europe today"
Switzerland is also one of the EU’s major partners, which is why a concerted, target-oriented policy with regard to the country’s interests in the EU is essential for Switzerland’s prosperity. Switzerland is not a member state of the EU; instead, it conducts its relations with the EU on the basis of bilateral sectoral agreements. Since the Free Trade Agreement of 1972, an increasingly dense network of agreements has been developed in several steps. The bilateral approach allows Switzerland to pursue tailor-made policies with regard to its European neighbours. The approach has been endorsed by the Swiss electorate in various referendums. Strengthening and further developing this bilateral approach and the possible conclusion of new market access agreements with the EU is vital for Switzerland. 
Chronology
Documents
Presentation "The bilateral approach" (PDF, 18 Pages, 1.7 MB, English)
Other languages

Presentation "The main bilateral agreements Switzerland-EU" (PDF, 33 Pages, 694.4 kB, English)
Other languages
List of abbreviations European policy (PDF, 10 Pages, 660.7 kB, English)
Other languages
 
Withdrawal of Switzerland’s membership application for the EU
EU's reply letter of the 19.10.2016 (PDF, 1 Page, 110.9 kB)
Swiss Government's letter of the 27.7.2016 (in French) (PDF, 1 Page, 216.6 kB)
Links
The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation
The Swiss Parliament 
www.ch.ch - The Swiss Portal 
Mission of Switzerland to the EU
Europainstitut – University of Basel
Europe Institut – University of Zurich (EIZ)
Institute of European and International Economic Law – University of Berne
Institut für Europarecht der Universität Freiburg (de)
Global Studies (GSI) – University of Geneva
Centre d’études juridiques européennes (CEJE)
Institut de hautes études en administration publique (IDHEAP)
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Last update 31.05.2022
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Europe Division
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@swissMFAeurope
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