Social Democratic Party lays out plans for Switzerland to join EU
The Social Democratic Party (SP), traditionally the second-largest party in the country, has unveiled its plan for Switzerland to join the European Union. Instead of keeping the bloc at an arm's length, the SP strategy would see the alpine nation apply to join the EU as early as 2027.
New plan would see Switzerland apply to join European Union by 2027
On Wednesday, the European policy committee of the SP released a new strategy paper. In it, the left-wing party laid out a road map to “stabilise the relationship between Switzerland and the EU,” according to Watson.
The plan would see the Swiss government engage in two "steps of integration," before applying for EU membership in 2027. The first five years would be spent working with more EU institutions and increasing participation in the single market. National Councillor Fabian Molina said that the plan demonstrated what Swiss integration into Europe would really look like, stating, “I look forward to exciting discussions in a European spirit!”
Attempts to rebuild rocky relationship between Switzerland and EU
In recent years, Switzerland’s relationship with the EU has been strained, with talks breaking down over energy and cohesion payments, leading to a deadlock that has lasted to this day. In 1992, Switzerland voted against joining the EEA, and Swiss citizens consistently reject referendums that call for greater political integration with the EU.
Experts argue that Switzerland’s “special status” outside the bloc has proved beneficial in the past, with Professor Stefanie Walter from the University of Zurich noting, “The arrangement of bilateral contracts has so far allowed Switzerland to have a close but direct relationship with the EU, tailored to Swiss needs.” If the SP plan is to come to fruition, it will have to break what Walter described as a “majority of the population and a majority in the political and business worlds that want to keep the status quo.”