Switzerland and the European Common Market

Switzerland and the European Common Market

Switzerland and the European Common Market

Switzerland and the European Common Market


This volume explores the challenges facing Switzerland as the European Community (EC) moves toward the 1992 goal of a Europe without economic borders. The primary question Schwok addresses is whether or not Switzerland can ultimately avoid becoming a full-fledged member of the EC. He fully explores the alternatives open to Switzerland, comparing the benefits and risks of each, examines the political and economic implications of full membership within the EC, and analyzes Community rules and laws that are particularly relevant to Switzerland.


Switzerland must meet the immense challenge posed by the European Community's plan to complete its internal market by 1992. To reach its goal, the ec has created two instruments: the White Paper and the Single European Act (SEA).

Until now, Switzerland avoided discrimination globally, with respect to the European Community, by means of the Free Trade Agreement of 1972, which allowed the removal of primary obstacles to the trade of industrial products.

But the ongoing process within the ec makes clear the fundamental importance of the nontariff barriers. a new chasm, more profound than the rift of the 1960s, threatens to split open.

There are many interdependent factors which determine the Swiss policy concerning the European Communities. Thus, if the Swiss Confederation is looking to move closer to the ec, it is essentially for economic reasons, but the price to pay could be political.

It follows, then, that our analysis should reflect this interdependence by presenting a sufficiently multifaceted approach. Therefore this study aims to propose a general synthesis which goes beyond the partitioning of the social sciences by a comprehensive approach.

At this point, it is essential to establish logically the nature of the problem. Actually, this is more an analysis of the implications of the Confederation's present political situation than a discourse on the difficulties of an agreement. the question then is not whether Switzerland wants to be a member of the European Community; the answer is known, it is negative. the real problem consists in establishing whether the Confederation can avoid membership.

In order to evaluate the likelihood of a third option between membership and marginalization, the implications of the policy recommended by the Swiss Federal Council must be analyzed. To that end, this study is divided into seven parts.

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