Matthias Schranner comments
You start a negotiation with your partner. And you end them with your partner.
Anyone who unilaterally drops out of a negotiation process and presents the other party with a fait accompli damages the relationship. As a result, a new conflict that could easily have been avoided arises.
Swiss negotiations with the EU on the so-called “framework agreement” were broken off by Switzerland. The EU was very surprised by this “unilateral decision” (as per the press release of the European Commission from 26.05.21) and particularly surprised by the way the Swiss side communicated it.
Whether this decision to walk away was accurate or not, I cannot tell. However, the communication of the decision was wrong.
Whoever negotiates an issue of this intensity for so many years should communicate the termination together. The decision makers from Switzerland and the EU should have announced the decision in a joint statement.
This unilateral decision and communication have created a new conflict that will lead to a deterioration of relations.
The concerns voiced now by Swiss politicians that the unilateral decision might entail negative consequences are coming too late. Anyone who leaves the negotiating table after weighing up all the pros and cons and deciding in favor of the so-called disagreement must then stand by this decision.
– When the set goals cannot be achieved, it is necessary to break off a negotiation
– You start negotiations together – and end them together
– If you break off unilaterally and communicate unilaterally, you create a new conflict.