Concerns in Switzerland in the face of political turbulence in France and Europe

15 June 2024 / Interviews

Switzerland is observing recent political developments in France and within the European Union with particular attention, expressing both fascination and concern about the implications for its own national interests.

Richard Werly, a renowned Swiss journalist, points out that the rapid dissolution of the French Parliament by Emmanuel Macron deeply surprised Swiss observers. Comparing this decision to the institutional slowness characteristic of Switzerland, Werly evokes a feeling of amazement at the French presidential capacity for action, often perceived as vertical and theatrical.

This rapid reaction in France raises questions in Switzerland about the future stability of the French neighbor. With legislative elections coming up, the Swiss are wondering whether France could become ungovernable, posing potential challenges for cross-border and economic cooperation.

On the European level, the Swiss are also observing with concern the ambitious promises of the European Union, particularly in terms of climate, reindustrialization and international geopolitics. Although located outside the EU, Switzerland recognizes its economic dependence on the Union, its largest trading partner. Economic uncertainties within the EU could have direct repercussions on the Swiss economy, increasing long-term concerns.

Finally, on a geopolitical level, Switzerland feels a certain concern about the effectiveness of its traditional neutrality in the face of growing international tensions. Recent foreign policy decisions, such as the application of European sanctions against Russia, reflect a dilemma for a historically neutral country but now facing a more complex geopolitical reality.

In short, while Switzerland maintains an envied internal stability, it remains vigilant in the face of rapid and sometimes tumultuous developments in its European neighbors, seeking to preserve its national interests while being aware of its economic and geopolitical interdependence with the European Union.