The Swiss government has announced its intention to finalise a mandate for the resumption of negotiations with the European Union (EU) within the next three months. In a statement

released on March 29, the government confirmed that exploratory talks with Brussels had shown "positive dynamics," and that more than 20 meetings between Swiss and EU officials had helped to clarify the situation.

Despite this progress, the government has stated that further specifications are necessary regarding the protection of existing salary levels in Switzerland. This issue has been a sticking point in previous negotiations, and it appears that it remains a concern for the Swiss government.

Maroš Šefčovič, vice-president at the European Commission, has expressed optimism about the future of bilateral ties between Switzerland and the EU. During a recent visit to Switzerland, Šefčovič stated that he hoped to conclude negotiations with Switzerland by the summer of 2024.

However, relations between the two sides have been deadlocked since the Swiss government rejected the results of negotiations on an accord regulating the approximately 120 bilateral agreements with the 27-nation bloc. Despite a series of exploratory talks that have taken place since March 2022, formal talks between the two sides have yet to resume.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, and voters in 1992 rejected a proposal to join the European Economic Area Treaty. Despite this, the EU remains Switzerland's main trading partner, and it is in the interests of both sides to find a mutually acceptable solution to the current impasse.

The resumption of negotiations between Switzerland and the EU is likely to be welcomed by many Swiss citizens, who are increasingly concerned about the impact of the deadlock on their country's economy. The Swiss economy is heavily reliant on trade with the EU, and any disruption to this trade could have serious consequences for businesses and workers in Switzerland.

It is unclear at this stage what the outcome of the negotiations will be, or how long they will take to reach a conclusion. However, the fact that both sides are willing to resume talks is a positive development, and it suggests that there is a genuine desire to find a way forward that is acceptable to both Switzerland and the EU.

In conclusion, the Swiss government's announcement that it intends to finalise a mandate for the resumption of negotiations with the EU within the next three months is an important development in the ongoing saga of the bilateral relationship between Switzerland and the EU. While there are still significant issues to be resolved, the fact that both sides are willing to engage in dialogue is a positive step forward. Ultimately, it is in the interests of both Switzerland and the EU to find a solution that works for everyone, and hopefully, the resumption of negotiations will bring us one step closer to achieving that goal.