Switzerland Withdraws Longstanding Application to Join EU

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The upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum.

Twenty-seven members of the upper house, the Council of States, voted to cancel Switzerland’s longstanding EU application, versus just 13 senators against. Two abstained.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Switzerland withdraws application
  • Upper House, the Council of States voted 27 v. 13 to cancel

Switzerland’s longstanding application to join the EU has not had a significant impact on the country’s politics for more than 20 years, as its accession negotiations have been suspended since 1992 in the wake of a referendum to join the European Economic Area, when the Swiss voted down the idea of closer ties with the EU.

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