Apart from justifiable objections and reservations regarding the weakening of accompanying measures of wage protection, the restriction of state aid and the Citizens’ Right Directive it is particularly important to resolutely oppose the process that the EU is aiming at: the dynamic adoption of EU law. This would also include the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice functioning as a “pseudo-court of arbitration”. The loss of sovereignty would follow conclusively with devastating repercussions on democracy and civil society.
It cannot be denied that the existing agreements with the EU occasionally must be scrutinised, adjusted and completed. But here the objective question arises as to whether a Framework Agreement is really needed for this. ‘Frame’ stands for embrace or enclosure which from the outset would restrict if not suffocate any kind of freedom. It would be worthwhile considering as an alternative that unresolved bilateral matters could be clarified by means of exchange of letters and notes, legally binding for both parties. This would have the advantage of being a much more flexible instrument without a momentous loss of sovereignty. In case that – after prior compulsory mediation – a court settlement should be necessary, the disagreements could be dealt with by an autonomous arbitration tribunal. This tribunal would have to be composed on a parity base. It should have the authority to pass the final judgement on the interpretation of the scope and reach of the agreements in accordance with the legal regulations, bilaterally consented on. Beforehand there should be no obligation to appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), even if treaties based on EU law are concerned. The solution outlined above would be a kind of acid test for the EU, showing how serious they actually are about a genuine partnership with sovereign Switzerland.
Hans-Jakob Heitz, solicitor, former cantonal counsillor/ former judge at the Federal Administrative Court
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