Dieter FreiburghausDie Vorbereitungsarbeiten der Schweiz

2.10 Dieter Freiburghaus, Die Vorbereitungsarbeiten der Schweiz, excerpt, in Erfolglose Annäherungsversuche der EFTA Staaten, Die Jahre 1961 – 1968, in Königsweg oder Sackgasse, 60 Jahre Schweizerische Europapolitik, Zürich, 2009

[the preparatory work for an unsuccesful association of Switzerland to the European Community]

a) Background

European foreign policy has become the primary focus  of Swiss foreign policy. The observer of the growing influence of the developments in the European Union notes, that there is a curious lack of coherent and systematic texts on those developments. It is the political scientists and not the lawyers who first filled that gap after the turn of the millennium. Besides the political scientist René Schwok – affiliated as a professor for political sciences to the University of Geneva and holder of a Jean Monnet chair – the political scientist Dieter Freiburghaus published in 2009 the leading book Königsweg oder Sackgasse? 60 Jahre schweizerische Europapolitik (Kings path or dead end? 60 years of Swiss-European policy) It is noteworthy that René Schwok is a representative of the internationalist institutional environment of Geneva and Freiburghaus is a representative of the institutional environment of Lausanne, both in the French speaking part of Switzerland and both on the shores of Lake Geneva, the neighbouring environment of Lausanne gradually becoming one scientific and academic environment with Geneva. Freiburghaus’s book is the only systematic and coherent book on Swiss European policy. It is structured along the time line of the post-World War II era, shedding light on every time period critical for the development. These efforts are to be viewed on the background of a consensual legal framework based upon a political will and decision between the EU and Switzerland, which was the driver of the process of Europeanization of Swiss law. The ever growing influence of law and legal culture of the European Union and the parallel and autonomous decision of the Swiss government to adapt its laws to ensure that they are compatible with Europe became, besides Americanization, the prime sources of a constant and continuous loss of autonomy of Switzerland in shaping its own law and legal culture.

Freiburghaus studied mathematics, economics and primarily political science in St. Gallen and Berlin. He was a scientific collaborator at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin; after returning to Switzerland he habilitated in international economy at the university of Basel. From 1988 to 2007 he was a full professor at the Institute de Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique (IDHAP) in Lausanne. Beyond his scientific work he is known for his communication and education efforts in lectures and articles addressing a wider public.

b) Summary

The text at hand is an excerpt from Dieter Freiburghaus’ book Königsweg oder Sackgasse? 60 Jahre schweizerische Europapolitik, on the years of 1961 to 1968 .The chapter focuses on the vain efforts of the EFTA-countries to associate themselves with the then European Community. The excerpt describes the preparatory works of Switzerland in connection with this attempt to negotiate an association with the European Community. These efforts have to be seen against the background of an effort to build a bridge between the free-trade-based EFTA and the common-market-based European Community. The decision of Great Britain to become a full member of the European Community led to strong reactions on behalf of the EFTA-partners of Great Britain. The countries Sweden, Austria and Switzerland then striving for an association at the same time were neutral countries, they to a certain extent collaborated in their efforts for an association.

The text at hand describes the sudden intensive debate in Switzerland regarding European integration. The time, according to Freiburghaus, forced Switzerland to consider serious changes in core areas of policies. Freiburghaus describes the internal coordination efforts of the government and the formation of a special unit of the Office of Integration (Integrationsbüro). This unit still was under the primary influence of the Dep.

c) Text

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