Switzerland to curtail immigration

Posted on February 12, 2014 • Filed under: Border Crossings, Europe

Swiss neutrality has its limits, apparently. To the shock of many observers, the Swiss voted this week to significantly limit the level of immigration from the European Union into their small country. Despite the vocal opposition of the federal government, the controversial cap was adopted by a small but decisive margin.

The immediate consequences stemming from this referendum are not clear, although business groups have stated that the Swiss economy will suffer if the free flow of immigrants is in any way curtailed. The vote now requires the Swiss government to reinstate quotas on the numbers of EU immigrants who enter the country within the next three years, returning to the policy that had been in place before a treaty was entered into in 2002. Although not formally an EU member, Switzerland is highly dependent on its giant European neighbors for trade and, as a result, has entered into a number of treaties with the EU to mimic many aspects of full membership. Read Article

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