The gradual loss of market access and persisting uncertainty regarding the future of Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union are harmful to the Swiss technology industry (the MEM industries and related technology sectors). The European market is by far the most important for the industry, which has around 330,000 employees and exports over 55% of its goods to countries in the EU. These companies are reliant on access to this vast single market as well as on the recruitment of specialist staff and participation in research and innovation projects such as Horizon and Copernicus.
Contract signing necessary by summer 2024
The conclusion of new agreements, especially in the area of electricity supply, is also extremely important. From 2026 onwards, EU members will be required to reserve 70% of their grid elements for trade between the EU countries. This means that without an electricity agreement, Switzerland may face shortages in winter in the event of domestic production problems.
For these reasons, Swissmem is pleased that the exploratory discussions and technical consulting over the past few months have resulted in significant progress. The Swiss technology industry association is supporting the Federal Council in its efforts to finalize a negotiating position before the end of the year with a view to concluding an agreement soon after. This needs to be in place in summer 2024 – i.e. before the EU elections.
No additional accompanying measures
There are clear signs that the EU is prepared to secure the current level of wage protection in the agreement with Switzerland – with guarantees under international law to protect the characteristics of the Swiss labour market and regarding a non-regression clause. Swissmem supports both of these measures, as well as the digitalization of controls on accompanying measures, which the unions have now also endorsed. Given this situation, there is no need for additional domestic measures. Swissmem will not support any measures that might result in a worsening of the framework conditions.
For further information please contact:
Ivo Zimmermann, Head of Communications
Tel. +41 44 384 48 50 / mobile +41 79 580 04 84
Philippe Cordonier, Communications Manager, French-speaking Switzerland
Tel. +41 21 613 35 85 / mobile +41 79 644 46 77