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SANCTIONS AGAINST TEN STEEL COMPANIES
Mr Willy DE CLERCQ, Member of the Commission with specal responsibility for external relations and commercial policy, is to make an official visit to Switzerland on 8 and 9 January. On the occasion of this visit, which forms part of regular contacts at ministerial level between the Community and Switzerland, a framework Agreement for scientific and technical cooperation is to be signed between the Community and Switzerland. This Framework Agreement is a practical expression of the progress made in technical and scientific cooperation between the Community and Switzerland and will lead to closer interaction between the scientific policies of the Community and the Swiss Confederation. Mr De Clercq is to have talks with Mr Kurt FURGLER, Federal Councillor of the Swiss Confederation, and will take part in a working session to discuss the following : international economic and trade questions, relations between the Community and EFTA, in particular the implementation of the Luxembourg Declaration of April 1984, all bilateral problems between the Community and Switzerland and the negotiations currently in progress for adapting the EEC-Switzerland Agreement as a result of enlargement. The rules of origin. One of the annexes to the 1972 Agreement sets out the rules governing origin. They define which products will qualify for preferential treatment and ensure that goods do not enter the free trade zone through the country with the lowest external tariff. They encourage joint production between the Community and Switzerland of industrial products by providing a system of bilateral cumulation. This is closely in line with the economic thought behind the free trade agreement which was to promote economic integration within Western Europe. In this light, a simplification of the rules was introduced in 1983 for engineering products. ./. - 2 - Beyond the Agreement In the past decade, cooperation has gone well beyond the original scope of the agreements. In a pragmatic way a totally new type of relationship between the Community and Switzerland has been established within which both sides can deal with any problem of mutual interest. Contacts at political level have also intensified. In the recent past Commission President Gaston E. Thorn has visited Switzerland and Mr Kurt Furgler, Federal Counsellor and Head of the Federal Department for Public Economic Questions has visited the Commission. Frequent exchanges of visits at ministerial level, as well as the regular meetings of the Joint Committee set up by the Agreement, have consolidated the close relationship which exists between the Community and Switzerland and provided an impetus for further development. Among the many areas of cooperation are : STEEL Switzerland has had formal links with the European Coal and Steel Community since 1956 when an agreement providing for consultations between the two parties was signed. WATCH PRODUCTS An agreement providing for regular consultations between the two partners was signed on 30 June 1967 and came into force on 1 January 1968. These consultations take place within the framework of a separate joint commission. A complementary agreement was signed on 22 July 1972 and came into force in January 1973. This agreement regulates notably the use of the term "Swiss made". ENVIRONMENT An agreement was signed in 1975 providing for regular exchanges of information on matters affecting the environment. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Switzerland is a regular participant in the Community's Cooperation in Scientific and Technical Research programme (COST). Among the many areas of cooperation are informatics, telecommunications, oceanography, metallurgy, environment and meteorology. Switzerland also participates in the Community's Joint European Torus (JET) project at Culham in the United Kingdom. This project is aimed at preparing the way for a prototype nuclear fusion reactor. The Community's data-transmission system EURONET was interconnected with the Swiss network in 1981. A recent development in Science and Technology cooperation is that Switzerland will participate in three Community research projects in the medical field and following an agreement concluded in July 1984 between Euratom and Switzerland the two sides have agreed to cooperate in research into the handling of highly radio-active material. ./. - 3 - INSURANCE An agreement was initialled in 1982 by the Commission and the Swiss authorities providing for freedom of establishment for companies offering direct non-life insurance. A proposal for its conclusion was sent to the EC Council of Ministers in 1983. ECONOMIC AND MONETARY QUESTIONS Regular discussions take place between Commission and Swiss experts on monetary and economic questions. TRANSIT Various agreements have been negotiated over the years covering the problems involved in north-south transit through Switzerland. These agreements cover the simplification of customs formalities as well as the establishment of through rail tariffs for ECSC products. TRANSPORT The Commission has on several occasions expressed its concern at the Swiss decision, approved by a referendum in 1984, to impose a road tax on heavy vehicles and a general motorway tax which, in the Commission's view, are contrary to the spirit of the free trade agreement and will create additional barriers and formalities at the Swiss frontier. The Commission has placed particular emphasis on the need to avoid any potential discrimination in the implementation of these measures which came into force on 1 January 1985. Trade structure and development Over the eleven years of the agreement trade has considerably expanded on both sides. Swiss exports to the Community increased from 4180 MECU in 1973 to 18571 MECU in 1983 representing 49% of her total exports. Swiss imports from the Community increased over the same period from 7183 MECU to 23278 MECU representing 66% of her total imports. In 1982, 36% of imports from Switzerland were machinery, transport equipement and other manufactured goods with chemicals accounting for a further 16%. Basic manufactures, notably textiles, mineral manufactures, non-ferrous metals and metal manufactures accounted for 17%. Community exports to Switzerland were made up of machinery, transport equipment and other manufactured goods (43%), chemicals (11%) and basic manufactures, mainly textiles, mineral manufactures, iron and steel, non- ferrous metals and metal manufactures (23%). Trade between Switzerland and the Community (Million Ecu)(*) 1973 1975 1979 1981 1982 1983 1984 EC-Imports 4180 5751 12365 16366 17379 18571 21444 EX-Exports 7183 8344 17757 21737 23017 23278 26313 Balance 3003 2593 5392 5371 5638 4706 4869 Source EUROSTAT (*) The exchange rate ECU/dollar varies daily as the various EC currencies which make up the ECU vary against the dollar. One ECU was worth US$ 1.2 in 1973, US$ 1.37 in 1979, US$ 1.12 in 1981, US$ 0.98 in 1982, US$ 0.89 in 1983 and US$ 0.83 in 1984.