Through a wide range of agreements, the EU has closer ties with Switzerland than with any other non-European Economic Area (EEA) country. Switzerland is the EU's 4th largest trading partner, while the EU is Switzerland’s largest. Over 1 million EU citizens live in Switzerland, and another 230 000 cross the border daily to go to work. Some 430 000 Swiss citizens live in the EU.
Switzerland's economic and trade relations with the EU are governed by the free trade agreement [476 KB] signed in 1972 and extended in 1999 to trade in agricultural products and to processed agricultural products in 2004. Other agreements on state that each party must recognise the other's product standards (Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment ) and rules on purchasing by public authorities (Public Procurement [152 KB] ).
The EU accounts for 64.7% of Switzerland's foreign trade while Switzerland accounts for 7.7% of the EU's foreign trade.
|2012||Absolute value (EUR bn)||Percentage of total|
|EU imports from Switzerland (goods)||104.5||5.8%|
|EU exports to Switzerland (goods)||133.7||7.9%|
Swiss involvement in EU programmes
Switzerland has taken part in the following programmes:
It was associated with the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development.
Travel, residence & work
In 1999 the EU and Switzerland signed an agreement on freedom of movement [290 KB] under which each gave the other's citizens the right to enter, live and work in its territory.
The EU and Switzerland also have agreements under which each allows the other access to the other's market in
Cooperation in tax transparency
On 27 May 2015 the EU and Switzerland signed a historic new tax transparency agreement, which will significantly improve the fight against tax evasion. Under the agreement, both sides will automatically exchange information on the financial accounts of each other's residents from 2018.
Swiss participation in EU foreign policy missions & operations
EU Council conclusions
In its remarks on relations with EFTA, the EU Council has repeatedly commented on EU-Swiss relations: