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In: European Citizenship under Stress


The EU has tried to play a meaningful role in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic through common action in a number of fields. However, for the Union’s neighbours, such action may present challenges. Will they be included or left out? This question is particularly relevant for Switzerland, which is fully surrounded by States that are either members of the EU (Austria, France, Germany and Italy) or the European Economic Area Agreement, EEA (Liechtenstein). With Liechtenstein, Switzerland has particularly close ties, not least through the European Free Trade Association, EFTA (which also includes Iceland and Norway). Switzerland and Liechtenstein have cooperated particularly closely on COVID-19 matters. But what about cooperation with the EU? The chapter discusses examples of common EU action in the context of COVID-19 with a view to their legal effects in relation to Switzerland. The examples chosen relate to the availability of supplies and equipment, more specifically: EU export control measures and joint procurement, and to the movement of persons, more specifically: the EU’s traffic light system and the Digital COVID Certificate. There are two guiding questions: First, is Switzerland treated in the same manner as, or different from, its fellow EFTA members, who, different from Switzerland, are also members of the EEA (hence: “EEA EFTA states”)? Second, has the existence, or the lack, of an Swiss-EU agreement, as the case may be, in the field in question been of relevance?

In: Switzerland and the EU
In: Switzerland and the EU
Volume Editors: and
What makes the relationship between Switzerland and the EU so challenging? For both parties, mutual relations are of crucial importance, not least economically. As a result of the Swiss voters’ rejection of the European Economic Area 30 years ago, there is at present a large number of agreements that provide for Switzerland's partial participation in the EU's internal market as well as other matters. At the same time, there has now for more than a decade been an increasing degree of institutional and legal uncertainty. The present volume offers an inventory of different sides of this special relationship, which is interesting also in a comparative context.