In recent history, the Swiss have voted already twice not to enter into some form of EU, first no was for the membership to the European Economic Union in 1992 and the second no came in March of 2001, where the Swiss people decided against any negotiations with the EU, which would at some time make them a fully-fledged member. The Swiss pride themselves with their neutrality, but that neutrality costs them dearly. One of the hardest negative impact happened in this year, where the Swiss National Bank had to intervene, because the Euro became too weak, resulting in a loss that amounted to 33 billion Pounds Sterling.
The main problem with neutrality Switzerland now has is that all countries they deal with, or at least most of the countries that matter, are their neighbouring states, which all are in the EU. Whenever Euro is on the high, the Swiss Franc is less expensive making the export cheaper, raising sales and the Swiss GDP. Now the Euro has been in dropping, tourists are not coming, exports are dwindling overall sales are down, all because of a strong Swiss Franc. The Swiss National Bank, which ended the euro cap, had to intervene and purchase euros in order to lower the value of the Swiss Franc.
Switzerland could enter the EU and not lose their independence, special provisions were made for the Austrians and also – albeit different provisions – for the UK. The Swiss government knows that Switzerland at some point will have no choice, but to enter the EU. For that very reason in 2008, the Swiss did sign on to the Schengen passport-free zone treaty. It is believed that the resistance of the Swiss to join the EU is the insistency of several nations that Switzerland relaxes the Bank secrecy laws, but that is not the reason. The Swiss were an independent, neutral nation enjoying their direct democracy systems, a system that is far superior for the citizens of the country and they are not interested in changing any of that.
It will be interesting to behold how the Swiss National Bank will hold up against both, the Dollar and the Euro, which investment portfolio is 32% in Dollars and 42% in Euro. Their national currency remains strong, unwavering throughout the competitive slugfest the two of the world’s strongest currencies are currently engaged in. Similar to the UK, once the Swiss decide to join the monetary union, the Euro will finally be crowned the strongest and the dominant currency of the world. Perhaps right there lies the reason why this has not happened yet.