What are the opportunities and limits of bilateral talks between Switzerland and Europe? Could a single framework agreement bring together the existing treaties?


The relationships with the European Union (EU) have been at the top of the Swiss political agenda since more than fifteen years. Given the recent decision of the Federal Council to relaunch the bilateral talks with the EU, European policy will very likely remain one of the most crucial issues of Swiss politics in the next years to come. Against this background, the purpose of this interdisciplinary research project was to contribute to the evaluation of the opportunities and limits of the Swiss bilateral way. To this end, the project raised two sets of questions. The first set concerned the agenda-setting of the bilateral negotiations and the second set included the content of a possible framework agreement that could bring together the existing treaties under a single institutional umbrella. The research project evaluated the Swiss way of bilateral policies against other experiences (Japan and Korea with the EU).

Project Keywords

  • Agenda setting
  • Decision making
  • Dispute settlement
  • European policy
  • Negotiation
  • Framework agreement
  • Bilateralism
  • Treaties


  • Diplomacy
  • Political science

Relevant Countries

  • Switzerland
  • European Union


This project, started in 2008, has been completed.

Contact the project team

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Research team

Pascal Sciarini
University of Geneva

Cédric Dupont
Principal Member
Graduate Institute Geneva

Christine Kaddous
Principal Member
University of Geneva