EU ready to ratify seven agreements with Switzerland on transport, agriculture, research, free movement, procurement, trade

February 25, 2002

Brussels, 22 February 2002

Draft Council and Commission Decision on the conclusion of seven agreements with the Swiss Confederation in the following sectors: free movement of persons, air and road transport, public procurement, scientific cooperation, mutual recognition in relation to conformity assessment, and agriculture. "I/A" item note from EFTA Working Party to Permanent Representatives Committee/Council, dated 20 February 2002. Brussels, 20 February 2002 (document 6263/02 1999/0103 (AVC) 1999/0104 (AVC) 1999/0105 (AVC) 1999/0106 (AVC) 1999/0107 (AVC) 1999/0108 (AVC) 1999/0109 (AVC) AELE 1 SOC 63 AVIATION 23 TRANS 43 AGRI 32 ECO 43 MAP 6 RECH 31; No. Cion prop.: 8209/99 AELE 25 + COR 1 + ADD 1; Nº. Prec. Docs. 8754/1/99 REV1 ADD1 + ADD2 and 7259/00). Full text

1. On 21 June 1999, the European Community, on the one hand, and the Swiss Confederation, on the other hand, signed seven sectoral agreements and the final acts relating thereto as they appear in docs. 9748/99 to 9753/99 and 9755/99. The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons was also signed by the Member States, since it is a mixed agreement. The Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was also signed by the European Atomic Energy Community. These agreements were negotiated as a package with a view to be concluded and enter into force on the same date.

2. On 13 April 2000, the Council invited the European Parliament to give its assent to the above agreements. The European Parliament gave such assent on 4 May 2000.

3. The Swiss Confederation notified, on 16 October 2000, the completion of its ratification procedure of the seven Agreements.

4. On the EU side, all Member States have now completed their procedures for ratification of the Agreement on free movement of persons.

5. In these circumstances, the EFTA group, at its meeting on 20 February 2002, agreed to recommend that COREPER invite the Council to adopt the Decision on the conclusion of the seven Agreements with the Swiss Confederation, as set out in 68/02 AELE 2 SOC 69 AVIATION 24 TRANS 46 AGRI 35 ECO 44 MAP 7 RECH 33 following legal/linguistic finalisation as an "A" item on the agenda of one of its forthcoming meetings.

6. It should be noted that with regard to the conclusion by the EAEC of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the Commission is to take a decision, in conformity with article 101 of the Euratom Treaty, with the approval given by the Council, which also forms part of this decision. As a consequence, the notification on the EU side of the completion of its internal procedures will only take place once the Commission has adopted its decision.

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