SwissBanking
The online magazine of the Swiss Bankers Association
December 17, 2015

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Let's hold the debate!

Let's hold the debate!

Dear readers

The Swiss parliament and Federal Council are shifting more and more towards the centre-right, which on first glance is positive for the banks and the Swiss economy as a whole. Nevertheless, this alone isn’t enough.

For fear, the issue “Europe” has deliberately been played down and minimized – just as if one would pen up a big elephant in a small compound. However, Switzerland’s future policy towards Europe is of vital importance for our economy and our country in general. Unfortunately, there has not yet been a debate on the issue, which is something that has to change. For Switzerland – a cosmopolitan country with an economy that relies heavily on its export business – it is important to have a good and sustainable relationship with Europe. It is also up to the Swiss economy and industry to convince the country’s population of this fact. We have to demonstrate the importance of the bilateral agreements; however, they need to be built on a more sustainable basis. The Federal Council’s recent efforts to introduce the concept of a safeguard clause are welcome.

Switzerland’s relationship with Europe is based on the principles of openness, collaboration, sovereignty and independence. These four factors are not mutually exclusive, but are the effective guiding principles for growth and prosperity in Switzerland. Let not tolerate that the future of our country falls victim to those who want to isolate it from the rest of Europe. The newly composed Federal Council must now take on its responsibility. Let’s hold that debate on the issue of Europe and let’s empower the Swiss voters to make a clear and well-informed decision at the end of the process.