Switzerland joins the European missile defense system Sky Shield. How nice that sounds in this unfriendly world that is once again harassing Europe with warlike calamities.
In Ukraine, civilians die every day from bombs and rockets. The maltreated country urgently wants to become a member of NATO – under the protective shield of Europe and the protection guarantee of the nuclear power USA.
Switzerland, meanwhile, has always enjoyed this protection with a saturated self-image, well protected in the shadow of vile threats – if things are serious, NATO will fix it. Security a la carte. Yes to the current protective shield, no to the ban on nuclear weapons.
Switzerland has long enjoyed the protective shield of the EU
Yes to the purchase of US fighter jets, no to the transfer of Swiss ammunition to Ukraine. With pointed fingers, the Confederation examines the menu of the North Atlantic security offer: What do we choose? What do we like?
What’s our appetite right now? Switzerland has enjoyed this protective shield “au choix” for a long time – not only when it comes to military matters, but also economically, the capable little nation is protected from injustice, because it also uses the EU menu. The Swiss also appraise and criticize their wide range of offers – with the self-confidence of regular guests.
From guests of honor! The flourishes surrounding the framework agreement with the European Union provide an example of this self-perception, a fuss – sometimes even a charade – about the relationship with the most important economic community in the world, to which one belongs anyway, and from whose economic protection one benefits anyway.
The European Union unites the continent, Switzerland sits enthroned in the middle without being a member, even as an important partner. Why change anything about this status?
Switzerland as a treasury, the EU as a sanctuary
Unfortunately, unfortunately, many friends of Switzerland from the western world of values meanwhile see things differently. They are annoyed by Swiss refusals. They demand solidarity.
They insist on a European policy roadmap. They even go to the purse of the country, which cannot muddy the waters – “to Russia’s Alpine assets”, as the USA likes to put it: to the oligarchs’ money.
Switzerland as a treasury. The EU as a sanctuary. NATO as a shield. Should that no longer apply? No longer allowed to be as usual? Yes, the course of the world is so imponderable. Even eternal certainties change.
Sometimes overnight, as the criminal in the Kremlin made clear to the Helvetian cashiers of Russian capital with his war. Rejecting dubious deposits, disclosing accounts, disbursing funds – all of this is completely unusual from the point of view of the peace nation, and in the eyes of its financial industry it is a downright historic scandal. So the question arises: where does Switzerland want to go? Offside?
The country of voting has the choice
What does Switzerland want to be? A resort of the richest? Yes, there are two Switzerlands to choose from: the Switzerland of greed and the Switzerland of genius – one critically commented, the other internationally praised. The land of perpetual voting has a choice.
Or it can postpone and postpone and postpone the decision about its self-image and its validity in the world. That would then be the political self-dwarfing of the Confederates. There is also a suitable term for this: protective shield citizens.