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Switzerland seeks common ground with European Union regarding new Constitutional Provisions

March 2014, 05
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Switzerland Immigration
Simonetta Sommaruga, the head of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), on Monday, visited Brussels to inform the JHA (Justice and Home Affairs Council) regarding the execution of Switzerland’s latest constitutional provisions on immigration. She stated that voters of Switzerland have favoured a change in the system involving quotas. Switzerland will have 3 years during which the constitutional provisions have to be implemented and seek solutions with the EU. The accord on the free movement of the people will be enforced in full by that time.

Sommaruga, Federal Councillor, had attended the Mixed Committee session of the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs Council. She had taken this as an opportunity to hold successive bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Italy, Croatia, and France and from Greece, which at present holds the presidency of the European Union council. Mrs. Sommaruga emphasized that workers from the European Union will be allowed to come to Switzerland, even after the new system comes into effect, while the number of the foreign nationals will be regulated on a quota system.

Mrs. Sommaruga restated that the latest constitutional provisions stop Switzerland from signing the protocol enhancing the free movement of persons to Croatia in its present form. Switzerland will try to find a solution with Croatia and the European Union that prevents discriminating against Croatia. 

By the end of June, the Federal Council will arrive at a concept for executing the new constitutional provisions and will submit a draft law for discussions by the end of the year. Simultaneously, it will hold explorative talks with the European Union, intending to negotiate on the various unsolved issues. Mrs. Sommaruga emphasized that the relationship with the European Union and its member states is important to Switzerland. For that reason, every attempt will be made to deal with all outstanding issue and to try to find common solutions in close discussions.

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