Switzerland said on Wednesday (4 July) it had put further talks on a new treaty governing relations with the European Union, including sensitive labour market rules, on hold until after the summer break.
Switzerland will not meet the European Commission's deadline for a deal in the early part of this year on a new treaty that would bind the neutral country more closely to its biggest trading partner, new Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said.
A recent uptick in EU legislation on social issues has sparked disagreement between member states on controversial files to regulate labour rules across the bloc. Now legislators are trying to hammer out a way to enforce the growing number of rules.
Switzerland will curb Bulgarian and Romanian citizens' access to its labour market for the next 12 months, the government said yesterday (10 May), amid increased migration from those countries after limits were lifted last June.
The European Commission on Thursday (22 December) welcomed progress in relations between the EU and Switzerland after Bern avoided a clash with Brussels by passing an immigration law that does not impose outright quotas.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday (2 November) that European Union talks with Switzerland on the free movement of people should not be linked in any way to the negotiations with Britain over its exit from the EU.