07 Apr 2011

Presentation of a Study on Cross-Border Supply of Business Services by Swiss Service Suppliers within the EU

NCCR/WTI researchers Panagiotis Delimatsis and Pierre Sauvé teamed up to conduct a study for the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on “The Cross-Border Supply of Business Services by Swiss Service Suppliers within the EU”. The study was presented by SECO in Bern on 5 April 2011.

The study aimed to describe the current state of play of cross-border trade in business services within the framework of the bilateral relationship between Switzerland and the EU. It explored if there are trade restrictions for Swiss service suppliers in the area of the 90 day regulation contained in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons and of what nature they are. The study concludes that export oriented Swiss service providers that face difficulties regarding market access into the EU usually look for pragmatic solutions which they mostly find. Is there a stronger discrimination of Swiss service providers due to the intensification of the single market of the European Communities, especially for the business location Switzerland? This question is justified as in the Agreement only the current legal framework at the time of signing is implemented. Since the signing of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons more than ten years have passed and within the EU significant changes occurred concerning the regulation of the services markets. The study suggests the creation of a platform where Swiss service suppliers can make known the barriers they face when they attempt to deliver services within the EU (or in third country markets where barriers may be even more likely to arise). Like this market barriers can be brought to the attention of the respective government agencies more efficiently and can be asserted against the EU and its member states.