The EFTA/EU Delegation of the Swiss parliament paid a working visit to Brussels on 1 and 2 October 2020. The visit took place less than a week after the Swiss electorate rejected the Limitation Initiative and served primarily to clarify in direct discussions with EU institutions the domestic situation in Switzerland and the position of the European Union.

The Delegation met with senior officials from EU institutions for talks in Brussels. On 1 October a working dinner took place with Stefano Sannino, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service EEAS since April 2020 and the EU’s chief negotiator on the institutional agreement. On the following day, the Swiss members of parliament were received by Michael Karnitschnig, the director of external relations at the Secretariat General of the European Commission. Mr Karnitschnig is one of the EU institutions’ representatives who has been involved for some time in the negotiations on the institutional agreement.

The Delegation also held talks with MEP Andreas Schwab (EPP, Germany), chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Switzerland. It concluded the working visit by exchanging views with Dr Fabian Zuleeg, Director of the European Policy Centre, on Brexit, the ongoing internal EU discussions on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–2017 and the ‘Next Generation EU’ reconstruction plan.

The EFTA/EU Delegation was represented in Brussels by its president, National Council member Eric Nussbaumer (SP, BL), its vice president, Council of States member Benedikt Würth (CVP, SG), National Council members Hans-Peter Portmann (FDP, ZH), Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter (CVP, BL) and Nicolas Walder (Greens, GE), and Council of States members Damian Müller (FDP, LU) and Carlo Sommaruga (SP, GE). The president of the National Council Foreign Affairs Committee, Tiana Angelina Moser (GLP, ZH), also took part in the working visit.