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Switzerland’s relationship with the EU

Published Thursday, October 20, 2011

Although Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it has chosen to cooperate with the EU in a number of areas of specific interest.

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As it is not a member of the EU, Switzerland has no representation in any of the EU institutions and no right to participate in EU decisions (except regarding the Schengen border-free area). Nor is it a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) which comprises the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Switzerland has nevertheless chosen to cooperate with the EU in a number of specific areas of mutual interest. It is a member of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) and an associate member of the Schengen border-free area, and it has a series of over 100 bilateral agreements with the EU, many of which require Switzerland to comply with EU law.

Commons Briefing papers SN06090

Author: Arabella Lang

Topics: EU external relations, EU institutions, EU law and treaties, International economic relations, International trade

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