Question: “Switzerland and the EU face negotiations on the adoption of EU law. In cases of conflict, the Federal Council wants the ECJ to give an opinion - whether its decisions will be politically implemented, must, however, be reserved to Switzerland.”
Answer: "My understanding is that the courts are the highest authority in our democracies, and we expect them to be completely independent That’s why it’s also a principle that decisions of a court cannot be dismantled nor ignored. And when one shares the view that courts are independent in a democracy, then court decisions - whether agreeable or not – must be accepted accepted."(EU Commission Vice-President and Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, Schweiz am Sonntag of 18 January 2014.)
"Whether Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will drag Switzerland into the abyss of the EU jurisdiction remains to be seen. Who subjects himself to EU judges, will be at the mercy of their judgments. There is no better witness than Carl Baudenbacher, the President of the EFTA Court." (Klaus J. Stöhlker, Rätsel Schweiz ohne Lösung?, Schweiz am Sonntag 19 January 2014.)
“This (sc. the EFTA Court's Icesave judgment) is a victory for law and economic sense. The ruling makes clear that EU law does not require taxpayers to bail out private banks, the mistake that proved so disastrous for Ireland yet still claims pride of place in European banking policy doctrine. It also implicitly shows that if Iceland’s deposit insurance scheme was inadequate under EU standards, so is that of every EU country.
In practice, the lesson is that if the crisis is big enough, no industry deposit insurance scheme can fend it off, and the state is on the hook until it can no longer afford to be. The EU should use its reform of deposit insurance and bank resolution law to shrink the zone of state exposure as much as possible. Reykjavik has been proved right in law; Europe should admit that it had a point in policy as well.” (Financial Times of 28 January 2013.)
“Icesave ruling raises important moral hazard questions.” (The Guardian of 28 January 2013.)
The EFTA Court's Icesave judgment "doesn't bind the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, but it does establish a precedent for jurisprudence in the wider EU system.” (Wall Street Journal of 28 January 2013).
The EFTA Court's Icesave judgment was actually the signal for the fact that States may proceed in different ways vis-à-vis domestic and foreign customers in an emergency situation (Jacques Callioux, cited in FAZ vom 19.3.2013.
"The reading of Baudenbacher report (sc. to the Swiss Jurists Day 2012) is a 'must', whether loved or not, a good example of Law and Economics.” (Peter Nobel in SJZ 2012, 616.)
Switzerland-EU: The 30 which count (Le Temps [Geneva/Lausanne] of 6 December 2012)
# 17: Carl Baudenbacher, President of the Court of Justice of the EFTA. The Swiss lawyer and academic, nominated by the Liechtenstein, fights to defend the European Economic Area. According to him, the EEA is the right solution.
"A pacemaker in European and international legal transactions"
(Professor Dr. Tim Dornis in his laudatio on the occasion of the bestowment of the honorary doctorate for economics by Leuphana University Lüneburg on 11 July 2012.)
Carl Baudenbacher’s “Five Lectures” on the EFTA Court are too good to gather dust in a library. For everybody who is interested in international law they are intellectual delicacies prepared by a starred chef which one should enjoy in a quiet hour. – “Worth the trip.” (Dr Wienand Meilicke, Attorney at Law, Meilicke Hoffman & Partner, Bonn, Deutscher AnwaltSpiegel 11 of 30 May 2012, 21.)
"[T]he most profound authority on EEA law and the problems of institutionalization of the bilateral agreements" (Finanz und Wirtschaft of 21 December 2011).
"Carl Baudenbacher, Rechtsprofessor in St. Gallen und Präsident des Efta-Gerichtshofs, legte dar, dass die EU einen Bilateralismus nach klassischem Völkerrecht, ohne eigentliche Institutionen, wohl für einzelne Verträge, nicht jedoch als Integrationsmodell akzeptiere; denn er führe innerhalb des Binnenmarkts zu Asymmetrien, werden doch die Unionsmitglieder durch Kommission und Gerichtshof überwacht." (Neue Zürcher Zeitung Online vom 17. Mai 2012.)
"... the rulings of the EFTA Court are indeed being minded by the European Court of Justice" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 8 September 2011).
"Japan should seek membership in the European Economic Area" (Japan Times of 5 September 2011).
“One of Norway’s most powerful men” (Dagens Næringsliv [Oslo] of 16 April 2011 and of 16 July 2011)
“The Swiss who knew everything about Europe” (Le Temps [Geneva/Lausanne] of 26 April 2011)
"An EEA advocate is gaining the Federal Councillors' ears" (Tages-Anzeiger [Zurich] of 18 August 2010)
H.M. King Harald V of Norway called the EFTA Court “Norway’s anchorage point in its relationship to the European Union” in his dinner speech on the occasion of the State visit of T.R.H. The Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg on 30 May 2011. (http://www.kongehuset.no/c26947/tale/vis.html?tid=91776&strukt_tid=26947)
A compromise solution could be found for Switzerland, as it is the case for Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. For them, "there is a special court based in Luxembourg and confusingly named the EFTA court after the European Free Trade Agreement which also includes Switzerland. The EFTA court, however, has no jurisdiction over the Alpine country. In an odd twist, the chief judge of the EFTA court, Carl Baudenbacher, is Swiss, but representing Liechtenstein." (Valentina Pop, EU Observer of 19 July 2010)
"A small dog with a big bite. How did the EFTA Court acquire an influence out of all proportion to its tiny size?" (David Lawsky, European Voice [Brussels] of 11 November 2010)
"Are national interests weakening the EFTA Court?" (Jim Brunsden, European Voice of 16 October 2008)
"Baudenbacher is considered the number one heavyweight of the three judges, with an encompassing contact network in the juridical milieu of Luxembourg. He is also considered a supporter of the free market and a liberalist." (Dagens Næringsliv, 16 January 2006)
"Baudenbacher has a reputation for being a gentleman who adheres to principle, who will abide by the law rather than political currents" (Dagens Næringsliv [Oslo] of 7 February 2007)
“Bridge builder to Europe” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung of 3 February 1997)
The Washington Post with Bloomberg December 2, 2014: Austria Handled Hypo Alpe Rescue Like Amateurs, Commission Says: “In our times, only the highest professional standards are good enough -- you can’t act like amateurs,” Carl Baudenbacher, a Swiss judge and commission member, told journalists in Vienna. “None of us is making judgments with hindsight, but what we’re saying is you need a proper basis to act upon and in many situations such a basis simply wasn’t there.”
“King Carl of the EEA [...] one of Norway's most powerful men” (Dagens Næringsliv [Oslo] of 16 April 2011).