Events - 22.05.2013 - 00:00 

EU: How will things progress?

Richard Jones, the European Union’s ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, will speak at HSG on the future of the EU and the relationship between the EU and Switzerland. Both topics are current and controversial.

21 May 2013. The speech, “The Future of the European Union, Including its Relationship with Switzerland”, presented in English by Ambassador Richard Jones, will be Friday, 24 May, from 4:15-6 p.m. in lecture hall 09-011 (Senatssaal in the library building). Prof. Dr. Dirk Lehmkuhl, a political science professor at HSG, will moderate the event.

Unresolved debt problem
In view of developments inside the EU, questions about the euro crisis and government debt of most European countries come to the fore. At the same time, we see a peculiar disconnect between the euphoria in the financial markets and actual political events. Not long ago, government debt was the big problem child. But since the European Central Bank’s decision to supply the countries in crisis with almost inexhaustible liquid assets, those worries have seemed to dissipate. It is even more surprising that the crisis rhetoric has softened since, despite many incremental changes, the EU has not taken any big steps towards overcoming the cause of the national budget crises and the economic imbalances between the member states. Moreover, the indebted national budgets are not the only big problems facing the EU.

EU insists on blanket agreement
The challenges Switzerland faces in its relationship with the EU may be put into perspective in view of the substantial worries about the EU’s future. However, the relationship is also explosive. In the past few months, two big issues became the center of political and media attention. First, the EU expressed with increasing clarity that solutions in the areas of institutional connections (“blanket agreement”) and dispute resolution are vital for its continued cooperation with Switzerland. Second, there are unresolved issues concerning the taxation of companies. There are different positions on both issues not only between the EU and Switzerland, but also in Switzerland.

Photo: / krockenmitte

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