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EU – Switzerland: nine new agreements to be signed today

European Commission - IP/04/1315   25/10/2004

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/04/1315

Brussels, 26 October 2004

EU – Switzerland: nine new agreements to be signed today

After several years of negotiations between the European Union and Switzerland nine new sectoral agreements are to be signed today in the margins of the JAI Council in Luxembourg. The agreements concern the taxation of savings; the co-operation in the fight against fraud; the association of Switzerland to the Schengen acquis; participation of Switzerland in the “Dublin” and “Eurodac” regulations; trade in processed agricultural products; the Swiss participation in the European Environment Agency and European Environment Information & Observation Network (EIONET); statistical co-operation; the Swiss participation in the Media plus and Media training programs and on the avoidance of double taxation for pensioners of the Community institutions. In addition, a protocol to the existing agreement on free movement of persons will also be signed, which extends this agreement to the new EU Member States.

Taxation of Savings income: This agreement is based on four key elements:

  • a retention levied by Swiss paying agents on interest payments to EU residents, the revenue of which will be shared with Member States;
  • a mechanism for voluntary disclosure;
  • the exchange of information on request in cases of 'tax fraud or the like'; and
  • a review clause that allows the contracting parties to review the terms of the agreement to take account of international developments.

Fight against Fraud: Full judicial co operation and administrative assistance will be granted mutually, to prevent, investigate and prosecute fraud cases, smuggling and money laundering.

Schengen: This agreement will facilitate the free movement of EU and Swiss citizens and will have an important effect on the lives of trans-border workers. It also means that the fight against terrorism and crime will be further reinforced.

Dublin Convention: Switzerland will participate in EU policy on determining the responsibility for asylum applications. Eurodac: Switzerland will participate in the EU electronic system for the identification of asylum-seekers.

Processed agricultural products: opens the way for improved trade flows in, for example, spirits, coffee, tea and products with a sugar content.

Environment: Swiss policy-makers will benefit from targeted and reliable information provided by the European Environment Agency to promote sustainable development.

Statistics: Switzerland will participate in the European Statistical System, enjoying the benefits of compatible data in a wide range of areas.

Media: This agreement establishes the terms and conditions under which Switzerland could participate in the EU Media programme.

Double Taxation: An agreement to prevent double taxation of EU civil servants who have retired in Switzerland.

Free Movement of Persons: The ten new Members States become parties to the agreement. Transitional arrangements, in line with those in place for the enlargement of the EU, have been agreed.

For further information see:

The EU's relations with Switzerland - Overview: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/switzerland/intro/index.htm

Taxation: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/information_notes/tax_saving.htm

Justice and Home Affairs:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice_home/index_en.htm

Environment:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/index_en.htm

Agriculture:

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/index_en.htm

Media:

http://ec.europa.eu/culture/activities/cine_en.htm


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