EU backing fails to tip the balance with Libya
Clair O'Dea, Swissinfo, 23.02.2010
There is no doubting the European Union’s economic strength but its foreign policy role may not be forceful enough to help Switzerland prevail in its row with Libya.
The Swiss-Libyan diplomatic row became pan-European last week when Tripoli said it would stop issuing entry visas to most EU citizens, in retaliation for a Swiss imposition of visa restrictions on some top Libyans. [...]
EU foreign policy expert Janis Emmanouilidis also sees the Schengen ban as a deliberate move.
“Tripoli was fully aware that by taking the row to the EU they would get a reaction,” Emmanouilidis of the European Policy Centre in Brussels told swissinfo.ch.
“But it shows a bigger problem if non-EU countries [in this case Libya] attempt to exploit weaknesses within the union to gain advantage,” he added.
While some Swiss politicians have been warning of the dire consequences – specifically when it comes to compromise on banking secrecy – of owing such a debt of gratitude to the EU, Emmanouilidis plays down such concerns.
“If the Swiss think they now owe the EU something, that is more a perception on their side. The situation is more complicated than that and does not imply an automatic quid pro quo.”
For the entire article see here.
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