02:45 GMT18 May 2021
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    Switzerland's application for EU membership submitted in 1992 needed to be withdrawn a long time ago, as it was a mistake, a lawmaker from the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) told Sputnik Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In June, the upper house of the Swiss parliament voted to invalidate the country's application to join the European Union. Following the vote, Switzerland issued a formal notice to the bloc to consider its application withdrawn. On Tuesday, a spokesperson of the Council of the European Union said the Council had received Swiss notification about the withdrawal of its application for EU membership.

    "This application was a mistake by a 4 to 3 majority of the government back in 1992," Alfred Heer said.

    Heer reminded that the Swiss Government sent an application for EU membership without the consent of neither the parliament nor the people.

    "In December 1992 Swiss People rejected to join the 'EEA' European Economic Area. In later voting the Swiss people said clearly no to a membership to the EU. Therefore the application should have been withdrawn a long time ago. Finally the parliament made pressure now on the government to withdraw this application," he said.

    The lawmaker added that Swiss notification of the Council of Europe about withdrawal of its application for EU membership would not affect the relations between Bern and Brussels, as everyone knows that Switzerland does not want to join the European Union.

    Switzerland submitted an application for accession to the European Union on May 20, 1992. Currently, Switzerland enjoys free trade with the bloc, while Swiss citizens enjoy free movement within the Schengen area.


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