A loss for Sumaruga
Nothing will come from the gas agreement with Germany
Switzerland actually wanted a solidarity pact with Germany in order to help each other out in the event of a gas supply bottleneck. Now it’s clear: that should never come.
Robert Habeck met Simonetta Sommaruga and Guy Parmlin at the World Economic Forum and promised them a solidarity agreement.
Simonetta Sommaruga, 62, may have been happy too soon. In March, the Minister of Environment and Energy announced a solidarity agreement with Germany. In the agreement, both countries committed to helping each other in the event of a bottleneck in the gas supply. But he writes that the deal may have collapsed now Daily Gazette.
In May, at the World Economic Forum’s Economic Forum in Davos, things were still promising. There, German Climate Minister and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck (53) met Sommaruga and Economy Minister Guy Parmelin (62). Subsequently, Habek promised such a solidarity agreement.
Dispute Dispute Resolution
Only a few months later, in July, newspapers wrote about it «CH Media»The agreement was banned. The core of the dispute appears to be the settlement of the dispute. Berlin suggested to Bern that the European Court of Justice decide in the event of a dispute. Switzerland is known to be allergic to “foreign” judges.
The Federal Administration denied this. Germany has not made any suggestion to Switzerland on how to proceed if there are any disagreements regarding the agreement. The European Union has only recommended that there be a dispute settlement clause in the agreement. So Bern was going to propose to Berlin a dual arbitration court.
Failed because of Italy?
It now appears that this arbitration court was the reason for the failure of the agreement. Because such a step would set a precedent for the European Union. At the end of July, Habeck spoke clearly to “CH Media” against the Swiss “cherry picking” – also regarding solidarity and cooperation in the energy sector.
But the main problem lies elsewhere: in Italy. Germany does not actually aim for a bilateral agreement with Switzerland, but does want a tripartite agreement that would also include Italy. A deal with Italy is more interesting for Germany than a deal with Switzerland. Because there are no gas storage facilities in this country, which is why Switzerland in particular will benefit from the deal and not the other way around.
However, Italy is not considering sharing gas supplies with Germany in the event of an emergency. That should not change with the future head of government, Giorgia Meloni, who is skeptical of the European Union – on the contrary.
Sommaruga did not explicitly state that the agreement had broken down. But in an interview with “NZZ am Sonntag,” the energy secretary admitted her own skepticism. When asked about the desired solidarity agreement, she said, “We are in talks, but it is uncertain whether they will eventually happen.” (BGS)
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