Risk Talk on Swiss / EU relationship: Implications for the insurance sector

23 Jun 2014

Organised by: Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd


Switzerland made headlines around Europe in February with a referendum approving the reinstatement of EU immigration quotas. The vote threatened to undo a raft of bilateral accords between Switzerland and the EU; undermine progress towards formal recognition of consistency between Swiss-EU insurance regimes and sour relations between Switzerland and its largest trading partner.

Some four months after the vote, what more do we know? Are European leaders losing patience with the Swiss? Do they regard the vote as a stumbling block that direct democracy can occasionally produce? Or is the Swiss vote a symptom of wider Euro-scepticism?

Leading experts on Swiss/EU relations from Bern and Brussels will consider these questions. They will also discuss the future of "Standort Schweiz" as a business centre, and the ramifications of the vote for the insurance industry in particular.






Philippe Brahin, Head Governmental Affairs & Sustainability, Swiss Re


  • Swiss/EU relations – an inventory and a perspective
    Jean Russotto, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP
  • Swiss/EU Insurance – opportunities and challenges of EU equivalence
    Guy Soussan, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP

Panel discussion

Moderated by Philippe Brahin, Head Governmental Affairs & Sustainability, Swiss Re and joined by

  • Thomas Luder, Insurance Regulatory Expert, Markets Divison of the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF)
  • Adam McCarthy, Head of Government and Industry Affairs, Zurich Insurance Company
  • Guy Soussan, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP
  • Jean Russotto, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP


Networking and refreshments

This event may be broadcasted live, photographed, filmed and /or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on Swiss Re’s and the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue’s internal and external websites and in printed materials.



Although not part of the European Union, Switzerland has a close relationship with it, and has built up a series of bilateral sectoral agreements providing Swiss companies access to the European free market. The Swiss referendum, on February 9 2014, advocating a reintroduction of quotas on immigrants from the EU, will require considerable negotiations with the European institutions to find a workable solution.

These negotiations may well have an impact on Swiss business, not least the insurance sector, where many Swiss based companies operate across the continent. These issues were all addressed at the Risk Talk by a panel of experts with experience on the relationship between Bern and Brussels.

Read the whole summary.