The 61st plenary session of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) was held in Bucharest between 23 and 25 June 2019. In the meeting’s closing statement members of parliament from the 28 member states stressed the importance of bilateral relations with Switzerland and called on the EU and Switzerland to take a consensual approach on the institutional agreement.

At the invitation of the Romanian EU Council presidency the EFTA/EU Delegation of the Federal Assembly also attended the meeting. The Delegation was represented by its president, National Council member Hans-Peter Portmann (FDP, ZH), National Council member Kathy Riklin (CVP, ZH) and Council of States member Didier Berberat (SP, NE).

The conference in Bucharest coincided with indications that recognition of Switzerland’s stock market equivalence by the European Commission would not be extended. Members of the Swiss delegation held numerous bilateral talks with representatives from national parliaments of EU member states and appealed in their statements to the plenary session to avoid further steps that would escalate the situation, harming bilateral relations between Switzerland and the EU, and lead to a hardening of attitudes.

Thanks in particular to the support of delegations from neighbouring countries, it was possible to include a passage to that effect in the conference’s closing statement. The members of parliament of the 28 EU member states acknowledged the importance of bilateral relations between Switzerland and the EU and called on both parties to take a consensual approach.