German government frets over morality of paying tax informer, reports Deutsche Welle (2 February 2010). Should Germany pay 2.5 million euros to buy stolen bank data of 1,500 people suspected of tax evasion?
Geographically Switzerland is at the heart of Europe, with four EU neighbours even the European Union, but the Swiss Confederation of 7.7 million inhabitants is an exception in its relations with the European Union. It is an EFTA member, but (formally) not even a part of the European Economic Area (EEA). The news item above reminded us of long-standing unresolved issues between the Swiss and the EU member states.
The European Parliament has commissioned a study on the complex bilateral relationship between the European Union and Switzerland with regard to the internal market:
Christa Tobler, Jeroen Hardenbol & Balázs Mellár: Internal Market beyond the EU: EEA and Switzerland (PE 429.993; January 2010; 65 pages).
In this post we are content to indicate the contents, but I expect to return to the issues in blog posts on my euroblogs in English, Finnish and Swedish:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6
1. INTRODUCTION 8
2. EU RELATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND AND THE EEA STATES 10
2.1. Relevant agreements and the existing legal framework between Switzerland and the EU 10
2.2. EU-EEA relations 12
3. THE FUNCTIONING OF AN EXTENDED INTERNAL MARKET WITH SWITZERLAND 15
3.1. The material scope of bilateral law 15
3.1.1. Free movement of goods 15
3.1.2. Free movement of persons 16
3.1.3. Free movement of services 17
3.1.4. Free movement of capital 17
3.2. The temporal scope of bilateral law 18
3.2.1. The status of primary and secondary law 18
3.2.2. Temporal limits in relation to the interpretation of bilateral law 19
3.2.3. Entry into force of the Agreement on the free movement of persons in relation to the EU Member States that joined the Union in 2004 and 2007 21
3.3. The substantive meaning of free movement 22
3.3.1. General remarks 22
3.3.2. Free movement of goods under the FTA 22
3.3.3. Free movement of persons and services under the FMPA 24
3.4. Enforcement 29
4. THE FUNCTIONING OF AN EXTENDED INTERNAL MARKET WITH THE EEA STATES 30
5. AN EXTENDED INTERNAL MARKET – CHALLENGES AND FUTURE PROSPECTS 32
5.1. The EEA and Switzerland: Two different models of integration 32
5.2. The future EU relations with Switzerland 32
5.2.1. Challenges 32
5.2.2. An outlook on Swiss-EU policy 36
5.3. The future EU relations with the EEA States 39
5.3.1. Challenges 39
6. CONCLUSIONS 41
6.1. The EU and Switzerland: A legal framework of bilateral agreements 41
6.2. The EU and the EEA EFTA Countries: A dynamic system of EU law incorporation 42
6.3. The impact of the Lisbon Treaty 43
7. RECOMMENDATIONS 44
Annex I. List of Interviewees 49
Annex II: Selected publications by Prof. Dr. Christa Tobler 50
Annex III. Overview of EU - Swiss bilateral agreements 52
Annex IV. Comparison between EU law, EEA law and bilateral law 53
Annex V: The Internal Market charts 54
P.S. Cross-border communication is a necessity in the European Union and beyond, with scrutiny by active citizens. At the same time Euroblogs are an agreeable way to brush up one’s skills in foreign languages.
European Union Law in English and its sister blog in Bulgarian are written by the lawyer Vihar Georgiev, who serves his readers with quick updates on new legal acts, decisions and other developments in EU law.
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By the way, I also discuss European issues in Finnish on Eurooppaoikeus and in Swedish on Grahnblawg.