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Zwitserland ijkt relaties met Europese Unie in 2007 (en)

Met dank overgenomen van EUobserver (EUOBSERVER), gepubliceerd op maandag 3 oktober 2005, 9:49.
Auteur: | By Lucia Kubosova

The Swiss main cabinet party has called for a formal withdrawal of the country's EU membership application, following two recent popular votes in favour of closer ties with the Union.

Bern's first official request to join the European Economic Community, the EU's predecessor, dates back to May 1963. However, it has never lead to further action and was forgotten, though not officially withdrawn.

In 1992, Swiss citizens rejected a proposal to join the European Economic Area.

The nationalist Swiss People's Party is now demanding a fresh official signal that Switzerland's EU amibitions are out of question, Financial Times reports.

Swiss People's Party is one of four government parties, with the same amount of votes as two other groups, but with the strongest backing after 2003 elections.

Analysts view its move as a reaction to two previous polls in which citizens did not support the party's recommendations and instead voted in favour of closer links with Europe.

In the most recent referendum, last Sunday (25 September), the Swiss approved of extending their labour law EU agreements to cover the ten new countries that joined the bloc in 2004.

Similarily, a ballot in June showed their support for closer security cooperation with the EU, despite the People Party's cabinet minister urging voters to go against the accord.

However, despite the two votes on bilateral treaties with EU, neither the public nor the main political leaders favour full membership of the bloc, with only the country's social democrats in favour.

The cabinet is set to publish a report about the future of Swiss-EU relations by the end of 2007.

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