Liechtenstein-Swiss Relations since the 1920s

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Liechtenstein and Switzerland can now look back on around 90 years of the Customs and Currency Treaty coming into force. Following the publication of Rupert Quaderer's monograph, a weighty work that meticulously traces the development of the Customs and Currency Treaty, the present project will examine the question of how Liechtenstein-Swiss relations over the past 90 years have been presented in the context of anniversaries and what function these anniversaries had and still have for relations between Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Anniversaries are not only a way of presenting a relationship. Anniversaries also construct and interpret relationships and can thus also be a signpost for the future shaping of a relationship. In this respect, anniversaries can also represent an attempt to smooth, (re)construct and (re)define relationships. This is especially true when in the history of relationships perhaps not everything has always gone as smoothly as one might have imagined and wished. Thus, there have certainly been events in the Liechtenstein-Swiss relationship that have also posed challenges for the partnership. At the centre of such conflicts were, for example, the prohibition of shafts, the Ellhorn border regulation, naturalisations, residence of foreigners, the Luziensteig/Waldbrand Balzers military training area, the turnover and value added tax on goods, Liechtenstein's accession to the EEA, withholding tax, but also various discussion points in the environmental and energy sector (Rüthi thermal power plants, Sennwald oil distillation plant, Rhine power plants).


For the present project, a meta-level reconstruction will be made of how the relationship between Liechtenstein and Switzerland was presented during the anniversary years. How do Liechtenstein and Switzerland see themselves and their relationship to each other during the Jubilee years? How important is Switzerland presented for Liechtenstein - both in Liechtenstein and in Switzerland? How is Liechtenstein perceived in Switzerland? In the opinion of the Liechtenstein and also Swiss political public, could Liechtenstein function at all without Switzerland?


Anniversaries tempt us to emphasise only the positive aspects of - in this case - partnerships. But what, for instance, is not said or even concealed about anniversaries? The presentation of anniversaries should therefore be contrasted with concrete events. Which conflict-laden situations of the Liechtenstein-Swiss partnership were addressed in the official reception of the anniversary, and which were not? What function did the thematisation or the concealment have? Was there also a political calculation of action for still open negotiation questions behind each of these? In this respect, anniversaries are not only a product on which a relationship based on partnership is celebrated, but also a basis for action for the further shaping of the relationship.