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Main article: "Swiss immigration referendum, February 2014

In February 2014, the Swiss voters narrowly accepted a referendum limiting the freedom of movement of foreign citizens to Switzerland. The European Commission said it would have to examine the implications of the result on EU–Swiss relations.[13]

The implementation of this referendum would entail the renunciation of the agreement on the free movement of people and, absent agreement otherwise, the triggering of the Guillotine clause collapsing the other six Bilateral I agreements. The EU withdrew from negotiations about Swiss participation in the new EU scientific agenda,[14] which resulted in the (at least temporary) exclusion of Swiss students and universities from the "Erasmus Programme, "European Research Council grants, and downgrading Switzerland from associated to third country in "Horizon 2020 calls. It signed an agreement in December 2014.[15] On March 4, 2016, Switzerland and the EU signed a treaty that would extend the accord of the free movement of people to Croatia, which had been on hold since the 2014 referendum, something which is expected to lead to Switzerland's full readmission into Horizon 2020.[16][17] The treaty was ratified by the "National Council on April 26[18] on the condition that a solution be found to an impass on implementing the 2014 referendum.[19] The treaty was passed in December 2016.[19] This will allow Switzerland to rejoin Horizons 2020 on January 1, 2017.

The referendum, which requires Switzerland to have annual quotas for immigrants, does not take effect immediately but requires the Swiss government to implement a quota system within three years. A final implementation measure was formally approved on December 16, 2016.[20] It was described as being watered down and a compromise with the EU, as it did not include quotas but only required employers to prioritize Swiss residents rather than foreign workers in locations where the unemployment rate is above average,[20][21] and it requires foreigners to demonstrate that they are integrated in Swiss society in order to receive a residence permit.[22]

Chronology of the Swiss votes[edit]

Swiss European Economic Area referendum of 1992 results by Cantons[23]

Chronology of "Swiss votes about the European Union:[24][25]

Among these twelve "votations, three are against further integration with the EU or for reversing integration with the EU (6 December 1992, 4 March 2001 and 9 February 2014); the other nine are votes in favour of either deepening or maintaining integration between Switzerland and the European Union.[24]

Proposals for EU membership[edit]

The bilateral approach has superseded Swiss enthusiasm for "full membership. The popular initiative "Yes to Europe!", calling for the immediate reopening negotiations for EU membership, was rejected in a 4 March 2001 referendum by 76.8%.[26][27] The Swiss Federal Council, which had been in favour of EU membership, had advised the population to vote against this referendum since the preconditions for the opening of negotiations had not been met.

With the ratification of the second round of bilateral treaties, the "Swiss Federal Council downgraded their characterisation of a full EU membership of Switzerland from a "strategic goal" to an "option" in 2006.

The "result of the referendum on extending the freedom of movement of people to "Bulgaria and "Romania, which joined the EU on 1 January 2007 caused the left-wing "Green Party and the "Social Democratic Party to state that they would renew their push for EU membership for Switzerland.[28]

In March 2016, the "Swiss National Council voted to withdraw its suspended application for EU membership.[29][30][31] The motion was passed by the "Council of States and then by the Federal Council in June.[32][33][34][5] In a letter dated 27 July the "Federal Council informed the "Presidency of the Council of the European Union that it was withdrawing its application.[35]

  Current EU members
  Candidate countries
  Potential candidate countries
  Membership possible

Foreign policy[edit]

In the field of foreign and security policy, Switzerland and the EU have no overarching agreements. But in its Security Report 2000, the "Swiss Federal Council announced the importance of contributing to stability and peace beyond Switzerland’s borders and of building an international community of common values. Subsequently, Switzerland started to collaborate in projects of EU's "Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Switzerland has, contributed staff or material to EU peace keeping and security missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo, Macedonia and Aceh in Indonesia. Close cooperation has also been established in the area of "international sanctions. As of 2006, Switzerland has adopted five EU sanctions that were instituted outside of the United Nations. Those affected the former Republic of "Yugoslavia (1998), "Myanmar (2000), "Zimbabwe (2002), "Uzbekistan (2006) and "Belarus (2006).[36]

Use of the euro in Switzerland[edit]

The currency of Switzerland is the "Swiss franc. Switzerland (with "Liechtenstein) is in the unusual position of being surrounded by "countries that use the euro. As a result, the "euro is "de facto accepted in many places, especially near borders and in tourist regions. "Swiss Federal Railways accept euros, both at ticket counters and in automatic ticket machines.[37] Also many public phones, vending machines or ticket machines accept euro coins. Many shops and smaller businesses that accept euros take notes only, and give change in Swiss francs, usually at a less favourable exchange rate than banks. Many bank "cash machines issue euros at the traded exchange rate as well as Swiss francs.

On 6 September 2011, the Swiss franc effectively switched to a euro peg: the Franc had always floated independently until its currency appreciation became unsustainable during the "eurozone debt crisis. The "peg involved a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs to the euro, with no upper bound in place. The "Swiss National Bank committed to maintaining the exchange rate to ensure stability. However, they abandoned the peg on 15 January 2015.[38]

Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and EU member states[edit]

Country Date of first diplomatic relations Swiss embassy Reciprocal embassy Notes
 "Austria[39] "Middle Ages
(by 1513)
Honorary consulates: "Bregenz, "Graz, "Innsbruck, "Klagenfurt, "Linz, "Salzburg.
Consulate General: "Zurich;
honorary consulates: "Basel, "Chur, "Geneva, "Lausanne, "Lugano, "Lucerne, "St. Gallen.
Joint organization of "Euro 2008, 165 km of common border.
 "Belgium 1838[40] "Brussels.
Honorary consulates: "Wilrijk ("Antwerp).[41]
Consulate General: "Geneva;
honorary consulates: "Basel, "Lugano, "Neuchâtel, "St. Gallen, "Zurich.[42]
Swiss Mission to "EU and "NATO in "Brussels.[43]
 "Bulgaria[44] 1905[Note 1] "Sofia. "Bern.
 "Croatia[45] 1991[46] "Zagreb.
Consulate: "Split.
Consulates: "Zurich, "Lugano.
Switzerland recognized Croatia in early 1992 shortly after it gained independence in 1991.
 "Cyprus[47] 1960[Note 2] "Nicosia.[Note 3] "Rome (Italy).
Consulates General: "Geneva, "Zurich.
 "Czech Republic[48] 1993.[49] "Prague. "Bern.
Honorary consulates: "Basel, "Zurich, "Locarno.
 "Denmark[50] 1945[51] "Copenhagen.[Note 4] "Bern.
Denmark – Switzerland relations
 "Estonia[52] 1938, 1991[Note 5] Consulate General of Switzerland in Tallinn "Vienna (Austria).
Honorary consulate: "Zurich.
 "Finland[53] 1926[Note 6] "Helsinki. "Bern.
Honorary consulate general: "Zurich;
honorary consulates: "Basel, "Geneva, "Lausanne, "Lugano, "Luzern.
 "France[54] 1430[Note 7] "Paris.
Consulates General: "Bordeaux, "Lyon, "Marseille, "Strasbourg.
Consulates General: "Geneva, "Zurich.
573 km of common borders.
 "Germany[55] 1871 "Berlin.
Consulates General: "Frankfurt, "Munich, "Stuttgart.
Consulate General: "Geneva.
334 km of common border.
 "Greece 1830 "Athens.
Consulates: "Thessaloniki, "Corfu, "Patras, "Rhodes.
Consulate General "Geneva.
Honorary consulates: "Zurich, "Lugano.
Greece–Switzerland relations
 "Hungary[56] "Budapest. "Bern.
Honorary consulates: "Geneva, "Zurich, 2 in "Zug.
See also "Hungarian diaspora.[Note 8]
 "Ireland[57] 1922 "Dublin. "Bern.
Honorary consulate: "Zurich.
 "Italy[58] 1868[59] "Rome.
Consulates General: "Genoa, "Milan; honorary consulates: "Bari, "Bergamo, "Bologna, "Cagliari, "Catania, "Florence, "Naples, "Padua, "Reggio Calabria, "Trieste, "Turin, "Venice.
Consulates General: "Basel, "Geneva, "Lausanne, "Lugano, "Zurich;
consulate: "St. Gallen.
See also "Linguistic geography of Switzerland. 740 km of common borders.
 "Latvia[60] 1921, 1991[Note 9] "Riga. "Vienna (Austria).
Honorary consulate: "Zurich.
 "Lithuania[61] 1991 "Riga.
Consulate General: "Vilnius.
Honorary consulates: "Geneva, "Viganello.
 "Luxembourg 1938[62] "Luxembourg.[63] "Bern.

Consulates: "Basel, "Chiasso, "Geneva, "Zurich.[64]

 "Malta[65] 1937[66] Honorary Consulate General: "Valletta.[Note 10] "Rome (Italy).
Honorary consulates: "Lugano, "Zurich.
 "Netherlands 1917[67] "The Hague.
Consulates General: "Amsterdam, "Rotterdam; honorary consulates: "San Nicolaas in "Aruba, "Willemstad in "Curaçao.[68]
Consulates General: "Geneva, "Zurich;
honorary consulates: "Basel, "Porza.[69]
Before 1917, through "London.[51]
 "Poland "Warsaw.[70] "Bern.[71]
 "Portugal 1855[72] "Lisbon.[73] "Bern.
Consulates General: "Zurich, "Grand-Saconnex
Consulates: "Lugano, "Sion[74]
 "Romania 1911, 1962[Note 11] "Bucharest. "Bern.
 "Slovakia[75] 1993 "Bratislava. "Bern.
Honorary consulate: "Zurich.
 "Slovenia[76] 1992[77] "Ljubljana.[Note 12] "Bern. Switzerland recognized Slovenia in early 1992 shortly after it gained independence in 1991.
 "Spain "Middle Ages[78]
(by 1513)
"Madrid[79] "Bern[80]
 "Sweden 1887[81] "Stockholm.[82] "Bern
Consulates General: "Basel, "Lausanne.
Consulates: "Geneva, "Lugano, "Zurich.[83]
 "United Kingdom[84] 1900[85] "London.
Consulate General: "Edinburgh.
Consulates: "Belfast, "Cardiff, "Gibraltar, "Hamilton in "Bermuda, "Manchester, "Saint Peter Port in "Guernsey, "West Bay in "Cayman Islands.[86]
Consulate General: "Cointrin.
Vice-Consulates: "Allschwil, "Lugano, "Saint-Légier, "Zurich;
Consulate Agency: "Mollens.[87]
Switzerland–United Kingdom relations

Swiss financial contributions[edit]

Since 2008, Switzerland has contributed "CHF 1.3 billion towards various projects designed to reduce the economic and social disparities in an enlarged EU.[88] One example of how this money is used is "Legionowo railway station, Poland, which is being built with CHF 9.6 million from the Swiss budget.[89]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Switzerland officially recognized Bulgaria on November 28, 1879.
  2. ^ Year of proclamation of Republic of Cyprus.
  3. ^ Switzerland had a consular agency in Cyprus since 1937. In 1983 this became a Consulate General and in 1990 an embassy.
  4. ^ Before 1945: Swiss Legation in "Stockholm (Sweden); 1945–1957: Swiss Legation in Copenhagen.
  5. ^ Switzerland recognised Estonia on April 22, 1922, and diplomatic relations started in 1938. Switzerland never recognised the annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union and re-recognised Estonia on August 28, 1991. Diplomatic relations were restored on September 4, 1991.
  6. ^ Switzerland acknowledged Finland on January 11, 1918. Diplomatic relations between them were established on January 29, 1926.
  7. ^ Permanent since 1522.
  8. ^ There are between 20,000 and 25,000 Hungarians who live in Switzerland; most of them came after the "Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
  9. ^ Switzerland recognised the Latvian state on April 23, 1921. Switzerland never recognised the incorporation of Latvia into the "USSR. Both countries renewed their diplomatic relations on September 5, 1991.
  10. ^ Honorary consulate since 1937; upgraded 2003.
  11. ^ Legacies since 1911. Embassies since December 24, 1962.
  12. ^ Since 2001.


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  2. ^ "Summary of Treaty". Treaties office database. 
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  4. ^ "EU membership application not to be withdrawn". "swissinfo. 2005-10-26. Retrieved 2015-03-12. 
  5. ^ a b Schreckinger, Ben. "Switzerland withdraws application to join the EU – POLITICO". Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  6. ^ Decision of the Council, and of the Commission as regards the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, of 4 April 2002 on the conclusion of seven Agreements with the Swiss Confederation (2002/309/EC, Euratom) OJ L 114, 30.4.2002, p. 1.
  7. ^ "Entry to Switzerland". Swiss Federal Office for Migration. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  8. ^ "Schweiz, 8. Februar 2009 : Weiterführung des Freizügigkeitsabkommens zwischen der Schweiz und der Europäischen Gemeinschaft und Ausdehnung auf Bulgarien und Rumänien" (in German). Database and Search Engine for Direct Democracy. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Agreement with the Swiss Federation: free movement of persons". European Commission. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Pop, Valentina (19 July 2010) EU looking to reset relations with Switzerland, EU Observer
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  17. ^ Geiser, Urs (March 4, 2016). "Swiss Announce Unilateral Safeguard Clause to Curb Immigration". "Swissinfo. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Swiss Lawmakers Back Croatia Free Movement Treaty". "Swissinfo. April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
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  20. ^ a b "It's Official: Switzerland Defies Referendum and Won't Impose EU Immigration Controls". "The Local. December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  21. ^ "No Quotas in 'Compromise' Swiss Immigration Bill". "BBC. December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
  22. ^ Osborne, Samuel; Broomfield, Matt (December 15, 2016). "Switzerland Waters Down Immigration Referendum to Protect EU Relationship". "The Independent. Retrieved December 16, 2016. 
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  24. ^ a b "Ce qui nous lie à l'Union européenne", "Le Temps, Friday 4 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Switzerland and the European Union" (PDF) (2nd ed.). "Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  26. ^ "Swiss say 'no' to EU". BBC News. 2001-03-04. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  27. ^ "Votation populaire du 4 mars 2001". Federal Chancellery. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  28. ^ "Linke lanciert neue EU-Beitrittsdebatte" (in German). 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  29. ^ "Swiss Lawmakers Vote to Pull Forgotten EU Application". "The Local. March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  30. ^ Cohen, Tamara (March 2, 2016). "Now the Swiss Withdraw Their Bid to Join the EU: Nation's Parliament Retracts 24-Year-Old Bid to Become a Member Amid Deepening Row About Migration". "Daily Mail. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  31. ^ Alexe, Dan (March 2, 2016). "Switzerland Withdraws Its Old, Outdated EU Application". "New Europe. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Swiss to Withdraw Dormant EU Bid". "Swissinfo. June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Switzerland WITHDRAWS application to become a European Union member state | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  34. ^ "Switzerland withdraws its application for EU membership". 1992-12-06. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  35. ^ "Retrait de la demande d'adhesion de la Suisse a l'UE" (PDF). "Swiss Federal Council. 2016-07-27. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  36. ^ Itten, Anatol (2010): Foreign Policy Cooperation between the EU and Switzerland: Notice of the wind of changes. Saarbrücken: VDM-Verlag.
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  38. ^ "Swiss franc soars as Switzerland abandons euro cap". "BBC News. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  39. ^ Austria references:
  40. ^ "Relations bilatérales". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  41. ^ "Représentations suisses". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  42. ^ "Représentations en Suisse". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
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  45. ^ Croatia references:
  46. ^ "MVEP • Date of Recognition and Establishment of Diplomatic Relations". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  47. ^ Cyprus references:
  48. ^ Czech Republic references:
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  50. ^ Denmark references:
  51. ^ a b "Relations bilatérales". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  52. ^ Estonia references:
  53. ^ Finland references:
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  55. ^ Germany references:
  56. ^ Hungary references:
  57. ^ Ireland references:
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  61. ^ Lithuania references:
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  64. ^ "Représentations en Suisse". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
  65. ^ Malta references:
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  69. ^ [2] Archived 24 October 2007 at the "Wayback Machine.
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  71. ^ "Polish embassy in Bern". Retrieved 2014-02-12. 
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  75. ^ Slovakia references:
  76. ^ Slovenia references:
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  78. ^ Relations bilatérales Suisse–Espagne (in Spanish)
  79. ^ Embajada de Suiza en España (in Spanish)
  80. ^ Consulado General de Suiza en Barcelona (in Spanish)
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  82. ^ "Représentation suisse en Suède". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  83. ^ "Sweden Abroad". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
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  86. ^ "Représentation suisse au Royaume-Uni". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  87. ^ "Le Royaume-Uni – représentations en Suisse". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  88. ^ Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU - Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
  89. ^ Transport Center in Legionowo - Switzerland's Contribution to the Enlarged EU - Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, retrieved 12 July 2016
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