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Switzerland and the European Integration Process: Engagement without Marriage

The rapid expansion of the process of integration within the European Community since the mid-1980s has put the issue of economic and political relationships between Switzerland and the EC at the top of the Swiss political agenda. 1 In particular, there has been much public discussion on the form and nature of the links to be developed with the EC. In this context, the government - Federal Council - has redefined its policy line and has tried to implement new strategies and tactics. These efforts have met considerable resistance, however, not only domestically but also on the external front, and have not brought the country as large and secure an access to the Single Market as is the case for all other Western European countries.