Direct democracy Switzerland: How To
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Is free movement under threat?

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party wants to reintroduce quotas limiting the number of immigrants. This would call into question the agreement on the free movement of people which also lets Swiss live and travel freely in the European Union. What is your view?

Free movement of people

The free movement of people is one of the four basic freedoms on which the European Union is built (the others are free movement of goods, the free movement of services and the free movement of capital).

The free movement of people is the right of a person to travel into Switzerland or an EU country and to be allowed to find a job, work and live there. There are certain regulations and limitations.

With the signing of the first set of bilateral treaties with the EU in 1999, Switzerland accepted this principle, which foresees a progressive opening of its labour market.

In May 2000, 67.2 per cent of the Swiss electorate approved the treaty, and in September 2005, 56% voted in favour of extending it to the ten new members of the EU.


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