Brussels to extend access to Swiss stock exchanges until mid-2019

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, gives a press conference on EU-Switzerland relations at the EU Commission in Brussels, December 17, 2018.

Brussels to extend access to Swiss stock exchanges until mid-2019


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+

The European Commission has confirmed the effective extension of access to Swiss stock exchanges until June 2019, which effectively puts an end to a threat by the EU executive to cut Switzerland off from having access to the bloc’s markets before the first of the year.

 The EU’s Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, who led the EU negotiating team in talks with the Swiss government, said the Commission now expects Bern to endorse the pact on the equivalence regime for its exchanges by the middle of 2019.
The equivalence is to be thoroughly reviewed over the next six months. Brussels expects from Switzerland to agree to a new treaty that would further strengthen ties with the EU. Switzerland has been integrated into the EU market for decades but is not a member of the bloc.
The decision will become effective after consultations with each EU member, while the Swiss side will await a draft treaty, that will be subjected to public consultation until the spring of 2019.

The EU-Swiss negotiations on a treaty have been ongoing for more than four years. The main focus of the negotiations is to make bilateral relations more streamlined as the current status is scattered between more than 120 sectorial pacts.

In order to apply pressure on Bern, the European Commission decided to link the extension of the equivalence regime for Swiss exchanges to the endorsement of a new treaty by the Swiss government. This effectively tied the ability of the SIX Swiss Exchange – the country’s main stock exchange – and other trading venues, to service their EU clients after December to a new agreement.

The Swiss negotiating team was forced to request more time from Brussels, which the Commission granted for another six months. The European Union is hoping that by giving the Swiss more time to approve the establishment of a mechanism and to adapt to new EU rules, this will allow the European Court of Justice time to formulate their own decision on the application of EU laws in Switzerland.

“We want European firms to continue to trade in Swiss equities, both in the EU and on the Swiss exchanges”, said Valdis Dombrovskis, said the EU commission’s vice-president for financial services policy, adding that the aid the extension to June 30 would “ensure continuity for portfolio managers and brokers active in Swiss equities”.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+