Switzerland to table immigration quota law by yearend


The Swiss government said today (12 February) it would draw up a draft law to limit immigration by the end of the year, after Swiss voters narrowly backed proposals to curtail the number of migrants from the European Union.

Switzerland risks losing its privileged access to the European single market following the successful vote spearheaded by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) to reintroduce immigration quotas, which has also unsettled businesses.

After its first meeting since Sunday's vote result, the coalition government - which opposed the quotas - said it would draw up an implementation plan by the end of June. It also plans to hold exploratory talks with the 28-member EU over the future of the free movement of people and other bilateral agreements.

Sunday's vote sent Swiss officials and diplomats scrambling to contain the damage in Brussels. The foreign ministry will contact EU partners immediately and also keep them informed of developments in Switzerland, with a view to opening formal negotiations, the government said.

"It is a difficult situation that we have to live with. We knew that," Foreign Minister and current Swiss President Didier Burkhalter told a news conference after the seven-member cabinet met.

He said the government had discussed whether to make concessions to the EU in other pending negotiations, which include the sharing of bank client data and corporate taxation, where the EU wants Swiss reforms, but did not elaborate.

The Swiss government is in the tricky position of having to write the result of the referendum into law while limiting the backlash from Brussels and without angering big neighbours like Germany and France. It has up to three years to translate the vote into law, and how strictly it does so is being closely watched by the EU, Switzerland's biggest trading partner.

Free movement of people and jobs within its borders is one of the fundamental policies of the EU, and Switzerland, while not a member, has participated under a pact with Brussels.

Since 2002, Swiss and EU citizens have been able to cross the border freely and work on either side as long as they have a contract or are self-employed.

Swiss to lose right to stay in EU?

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday that the referendum vote would have "serious consequences" for relations between Switzerland and the EU.

While he did not spell out any specific sanctions, Barroso implied that Swiss people could lose the right to live and work in the bloc, and that Swiss companies might also face obstacles.

EU officials have made clear that free movement is part of a package of seven treaties that stand or fall together. The accords also cover economic and technological cooperation, public procurement, mutual acceptance of diplomas and licences, agricultural trade, aviation, and road and rail traffic.

The Swiss government also said it would clarify how to handle plans to grant citizens from new EU member Croatia entrance to Switzerland from 1 July, which Sunday's vote has complicated.



United Alliance's picture

Of course that to lose right to stay in EU! What else!
EFTA is no longer binding !! The European Union laws should be respected and not changed to flavor Swiss !
I don't think That North-Anmerica would change their NAFTA regulations/laws as well because because a country cut the agrements!

So high "restriction" as well of goods from the European Union internal market as well high duty import fees.
As well full restrictions of money transfer in Swiss banks !

Nagel Furage's picture

They should make a new referendum for a border wall building like DDR with snipers! If an EU-citizen or immigrant is climbing the wall then ..

Nagel: "Hey dude , limit of restriction already reached ?"
Guurt Wild "Hmm i think..."

Le Peng: " Roger got it" ... "ta ta ta ta ta " .. "Yeahh, got him "

jo's picture

when addressing the quota for immigration, the situation of the following should also be considered:
1. A child born in Switzerland with one parent true Swiss (both parents Swiss) and one parent foreign, is still defined as a migrant. This definition came to light during a Vocational Education and Training Conference in Bern in March 2013.
Such a child is disadvantaged even from school level as well as at work, since true Swiss have priority.

2. Foreign spouses of true Swiss, are barred from the workforce. A professional foreign spouse with high international university qualifications from the best universities will have lost 12 years of university studies if she takes on a job putting tins on shelves at the COOP. The alternative is a loss of education and a loss of financial independence.
In any case, it appears that in Switzerland, women are only allowed to work when Switzerland is at war.....
Where does this idea come from ?

Migrants comining on a quota will find companies that will train them and find them a job.

Those in the first and second category do not have this held and just fall out of work.
They also need assistance.

An overarching problem that effects both true Swiss and migrants is the difficulty of the German Language.
Even true Swiss who have been brought up on the language depend on their bosses to get a good proficiency of the language or their professor who has to teach his students German language as well as the subjects of the degree course.
I say this from an experience of living in SWitzerland for several years, having studied Latin for five years and have an exposure to six languages in addition to my proessional areas of competance: Science and Engineering.
The problem is exerbarated by the several dialects in Switzerland (Zurich Deutisch, Bern Deutisch, Appenzeller Deutusch in addition to Swiss Deutsch and by the German dialects coming in with german migrants (1 in 5 is German): Munich Deutsch, Bayern Deutsch, Austrian Deutsch etc etc etc.
Citizens from the South of Switzerland are barred from work in the German speaking part.
Jobs in Government , even short term consultancy, require useage of Bern Deutsch because the seat of government is in Bern.

The solution is to re-write German language in simple form as happened with English in the early 1970s.
Remove the long strings of words, use shorter sentences, try using only one gender so the article is simple (`the` for the three genders).
It can be done for the relief of both the true Swiss, for foreign spouses, as well as for optimization of commerce.
This is a Challenge for Switzerland, Germany and Austria, working together on a project.

It can be done.

Otto's picture

A friend of mine is a Swiss. She works here in Germany as a teacher.
Because of the succesfull nationalist propaganda in Switzerland and the referendum as the result, she will lose her job.
"Good" work, SVP!

Otto's picture

A friend of mine is a Swiss. She works here in Germany as a teacher.
Because of the succesfull nationalist propaganda in Switzerland and the referendum as the result, she will lose her job.
"Good" work, SVP!