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Swiss make large aid pledge for eastern EU amid talks with Brussels

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Zurich (dpa) - Switzerland has decided to support eastern EU countries with 1.3 billion euros (1.5 billion dollars), the government announced on Thursday amid talks in Bern on a treaty to secure EU-Swiss trade ties into the future.

The money, which is budgeted over a period of 10 years, will continue Switzerland‘s current financial support for the eastern EU.

The fresh funds are earmarked for projects related to migration, job training and youth employment, Swiss President Doris Leuthard said at a joint press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Bern.

"It means that people will stay in their countries, as they will have jobs and training," Leuthard said.

Leuthard and EU chief executive Juncker met to continue talks on a new legal framework between Bern and Brussels that would consolidate the 120 treaties that currently govern relations between the bloc and the non-EU country.

The framework is key for securing smooth trade relations between both sides. Switzerland is the EU‘s third largest trade partner after the United States and China, while the EU is the most important trade partner for Switzerland.

"Everything is moving in the right direction," Juncker said.

However, he and Leuthard made clear that the framework agreement will not be concluded at the end of the year as planned, but several months later.

Rules on government subsidies and on controlling the implementation of the treaty remain as sticking points, Leuthard said.


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(18.12.2017 04:18)

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