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Old 28.10.2015, 19:38
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Considering it is surrounded by EU countries, of course. Until we see how the EU holds up over time.





Errr, the bilateral is a special treatment of Switzerland.

The reason for the bilateral was some mutual value between Switzerland and the EU. This is an agreement on equal footing. Switzerland can go ahead and implement the quota. The annulment of the bilateral will then be up to the EU.

Now, it could very well be that EU proponents have a vindictive and punitive reaction. That seems like what they are about, and the kind of people they are. But going back on that mutual value between Switzerland and the EU, is it really about mass immigration into Switzerland? I don't think so. I don't think the whole value of the agreement is based on this point.

So should rational minds prevail, they can then proceed to discuss what mutual agreements they can have.

The EU's refusal to discuss is a bullying tactic. You let them get away with it now, and they will try to impose something else on you later. I wouldn't stand down to bullies. That is how Adolf came to power. Yeah, I think Switzerland should stand up to the EU if Switzerland is of any worth and value. No need to grovel for one's right to determine one's course, like the Bundesrat currently does.

Grovelling may work for some cheap country out there that doesn't contribute much value anyway. It's not necessary for Switzerland.

About "the bilateral is a special treatment of Switzerland"
Not really, the EU has bilateral agreements with many countries; look here -
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/cou...ns/agreements/


or here
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-734_en.htm
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Old 28.10.2015, 19:44
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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About "the bilateral is a special treatment of Switzerland"
Not really, the EU has bilateral agreements with many countries; look here -
http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/cou...ns/agreements/


or here
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-734_en.htm

Right, and each one is specialised for each country.
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Old 28.10.2015, 19:50
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Errr, the bilateral is a special treatment of Switzerland.
By special treatment I meant in my previous post, if the EU might let CH cherry-pick from the Bilaterale I, violating the guillotine clause, which would be improbable.

Personenfreizügigkeit Schweiz - EU

Wirtschaftliche Folgen einer Kündigung des Personenfreizügigkeitsabkommens und damit des bilateralen Weges
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Old 28.10.2015, 20:09
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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By special treatment I meant in my previous post, if the EU might let CH cherry-pick from the Bilaterale I, violating the guillotine clause, which would be improbable.

Personenfreizügigkeit Schweiz - EU

Wirtschaftliche Folgen einer Kündigung des Personenfreizügigkeitsabkommens und damit des bilateralen Weges
That is right, because a bilateral is a specialised agreement, tailored to fit both parties on points they agree on.

At the moment, it is only EU intransigence that is keeping them from discussing free movement. While the EU have Switzerland down on paper, it does violate the spirit of an agreement between two parties. Its like a divorce because the couple can't agree on which car to buy. It doesn't have to be, but it does happen.

Free movement is supposedly the biggest accomplishment of the EU. But its in shambles at the moment. The refugee crisis cracked it up. The UK is not into it, other Wester countries are headed in that direction. Sweden is trending towards the right. The experiment will continue to be challenged.

Direct democracy is supposedly Switzerland's most important value. So here we see a clash of interest between the EU's experiment and Swiss values. The silly part is that a lot of this is merely about perception, and self-perception. The EU is really not interested in having people migrate to Switzerland.

I think Switzerland can decide what is more important for it, the EU's accomplishment or its direct democracy. I think the EU should be mature enough to decide what is actually in everybody's interest. Should be, though I doubt they are.

I would go ahead and implement the quota. The EU can cancel the bilaterals if they want. But at some point, they will need to hold a responsible conversation.
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Old 28.10.2015, 20:59
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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That is right, because a bilateral is a specialised agreement, tailored to fit both parties on points they agree on.

At the moment, it is only EU intransigence that is keeping them from discussing free movement. While the EU have Switzerland down on paper, it does violate the spirit of an agreement between two parties. Its like a divorce because the couple can't agree on which car to buy. It doesn't have to be, but it does happen.

Free movement is supposedly the biggest accomplishment of the EU. But its in shambles at the moment. The refugee crisis cracked it up. The UK is not into it, other Wester countries are headed in that direction. Sweden is trending towards the right. The experiment will continue to be challenged.

Direct democracy is supposedly Switzerland's most important value. So here we see a clash of interest between the EU's experiment and Swiss values. The silly part is that a lot of this is merely about perception, and self-perception. The EU is really not interested in having people migrate to Switzerland.

I think Switzerland can decide what is more important for it, the EU's accomplishment or its direct democracy. I think the EU should be mature enough to decide what is actually in everybody's interest. Should be, though I doubt they are.

I would go ahead and implement the quota. The EU can cancel the bilaterals if they want. But at some point, they will need to hold a responsible conversation.
About "it does violate the spirit of an agreement between two parties" Not really it violates the letter of the agreement.

About "Its like a divorce because the couple can't agree on which car to buy." No, its like a divorce where one party wants to throw away the pre-nuptial agreement
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Old 28.10.2015, 21:16
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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The EU is really not interested in having people migrate to Switzerland.
The EU is interested in free movement of (skilled) working poor.
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Old 28.10.2015, 22:06
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Considering it is surrounded by EU countries, of course. Until we see how the EU holds up over time.





Errr, the bilateral is a special treatment of Switzerland.

The reason for the bilateral was some mutual value between Switzerland and the EU. This is an agreement on equal footing. Switzerland can go ahead and implement the quota. The annulment of the bilateral will then be up to the EU.

Now, it could very well be that EU proponents have a vindictive and punitive reaction. That seems like what they are about, and the kind of people they are. But going back on that mutual value between Switzerland and the EU, is it really about mass immigration into Switzerland? I don't think so. I don't think the whole value of the agreement is based on this point.

So should rational minds prevail, they can then proceed to discuss what mutual agreements they can have.

The EU's refusal to discuss is a bullying tactic. You let them get away with it now, and they will try to impose something else on you later. I wouldn't stand down to bullies. That is how Adolf came to power. Yeah, I think Switzerland should stand up to the EU if Switzerland is of any worth and value. No need to grovel for one's right to determine one's course, like the Bundesrat currently does.

Grovelling may work for some cheap country out there that doesn't contribute much value anyway. It's not necessary for Switzerland.
As you said the bilateral is special treatment for Switzerland, and if EU cave into something so fundamental as the free movement others (i.e. real members) will demand special treatment as well

The bilateral is really a good thing for Switzerland, latest polls shows that 75% of the Swiss are pro-bilateral that's why the Bundesrat is very careful

The wave of immigration is a luxury problem which will naturally balance itself, e.g. you can now read about jobs being either outsourced to eastern Europe and Asia, and cancellations, this is a reaction and it's just a matter of time before companies will hire less and less...i.e. all this fuss will be about nothing...

The only real thing that the Bundesrat can do is to launch a new initiative about the Bilaterals...

Comparing EU with how Hitler came to power...really? please...the EU is the reason why we europeans don't want that to happen again...
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Old 28.10.2015, 22:41
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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That is right, because a bilateral is a specialised agreement, tailored to fit both parties on points they agree on.
Nobody in the EU said the contrary. One is however allowed to expect commitment from both parts. Of course noone is trapped and emprisoned in the agreement for ever, but changing it as fundamentally as questioning the fundamental right of free movement? Come on, that's an easy legal case for first semester law school students.

As you insist on, the agreement is mutual. If the EU doesn't agree to change it, then it won't be changed. It is Switzerland's duty to convince the EU otherwise if they wish to, but the EU just does what has been agreed on by both parts. They are doing it far too well for Blocher's taste, but that's an internal Swiss issue, the EU can only wait for the Swiss to agree as a government what they want to convince the EU about. Bern is not even at that stage yet.
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Old 29.10.2015, 00:01
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Nobody in the EU said the contrary. One is however allowed to expect commitment from both parts. Of course noone is trapped and emprisoned in the agreement for ever, but changing it as fundamentally as questioning the fundamental right of free movement? Come on, that's an easy legal case for first semester law school students.

As you insist on, the agreement is mutual. If the EU doesn't agree to change it, then it won't be changed. It is Switzerland's duty to convince the EU otherwise if they wish to, but the EU just does what has been agreed on by both parts. They are doing it far too well for Blocher's taste, but that's an internal Swiss issue, the EU can only wait for the Swiss to agree as a government what they want to convince the EU about. Bern is not even at that stage yet.
You are responding to a response to t3m who said there is no specialisation for Switzerland. The fact is, there is. And even if Switzerland imposed a quota, the EU can nullify the current bilaterals, but they will need to re-engage Switzerland at some point. They either talk and negotiate now, or they will have to do it later anyway. The stance of not even talking is just posturing and not productive, because Bern has been grovelling apologetically to the EU. Two SVP seats in the Bundesrat could alter the dynamics of that conversation.
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:14
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

Good to see that Widmer Schlumpf has agreed to step down without much fuss. I thought we might be heading for a repeat of the Ruth Metzler story here.

Maybe having 2 Bundesrat seats will strengthen the SVP position and increase willingness to seek innovative ways of fulfilling the referendum without upsetting the EU's milk cart?

On the other hand if the SVP fail to achieve anything of note out of this it could well become their high watrer mark in terms of popularity. I'm surprised they are accepting the seat actually. It might have been more tactical to stay in opposition.
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:17
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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You are responding to a response to t3m who said there is no specialisation for Switzerland. The fact is, there is. And even if Switzerland imposed a quota, the EU can nullify the current bilaterals, but they will need to re-engage Switzerland at some point. They either talk and negotiate now, or they will have to do it later anyway. The stance of not even talking is just posturing and not productive, because Bern has been grovelling apologetically to the EU. Two SVP seats in the Bundesrat could alter the dynamics of that conversation.
I don't believe they are "not talking". There is a constant dialogue between Bern and Brussels and they are talking about myriad issues all the time and many of these issues interlink and overlap. I can't imagine that the Brussels side stand up and leave the table every time the word "bilateral" is dropped. The "no talking" thing is just posturing.
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:35
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Good to see that Widmer Schlumpf has agreed to step down without much fuss. I thought we might be heading for a repeat of the Ruth Metzler story here.

Maybe having 2 Bundesrat seats will strengthen the SVP position and increase willingness to seek innovative ways of fulfilling the referendum without upsetting the EU's milk cart?

On the other hand if the SVP fail to achieve anything of note out of this it could well become their high watrer mark in terms of popularity. I'm surprised they are accepting the seat actually. It might have been more tactical to stay in opposition.

Actually the argument for a second seat for SVP (or for any other party) is quite thin. The Swiss Constitution states that the Bundesrat should represent the diversity of the country not the strength of the political parties.
Of course that is the theory and the practice is based on political realities.
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Old 29.10.2015, 10:48
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Actually the argument for a second seat for SVP (or for any other party) is quite thin. The Swiss Constitution states that the Bundesrat should represent the diversity of the country not the strength of the political parties.
Of course that is the theory and the practice is based on political realities.
The term diversity is a vague one.

Should the green party be represented, or maybe even the GLP?

Are the liberal and conservative wings of the SVP sufficiently different to possibly warrant a Bundesrat seat each?

The other parties have been warning the SVP about respecting the Konkordanz thing (they don't want a repeat of the Blocher scenario). But if there are sufficient voters who don't like the Konkordanz, is such a demand not itself at odds with the diversity requirements?

At the end of the day, diversity is difficult to measure and even more difficult to enforce in a meaningful way.
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:00
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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The term diversity is a vague one.

Should the green party be represented, or maybe even the GLP?

Are the liberal and conservative wings of the SVP sufficiently different to possibly warrant a Bundesrat seat each?

The other parties have been warning the SVP about respecting the Konkordanz thing (they don't want a repeat of the Blocher scenario). But if there are sufficient voters who don't like the Konkordanz, is such a demand not itself at odds with the diversity requirements?

At the end of the day, diversity is difficult to measure and even more difficult to enforce in a meaningful way.

The diversity in the constitution refers to the country not the political parties. So, for example, a German speaker, a French speaker, an Italian speaker, or one from the West, one from the East and one from the South.
This is why commentators often say Ticino is not correctly represented in the Bundesrat.


I agree diversity is difficult to measure and even more difficult to enforce in a meaningful way but this is not a reason not to try?
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Old 29.10.2015, 11:21
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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The diversity in the constitution refers to the country not the political parties. So, for example, a German speaker, a French speaker, an Italian speaker, or one from the West, one from the East and one from the South.
This is why commentators often say Ticino is not correctly represented in the Bundesrat.


I agree diversity is difficult to measure and even more difficult to enforce in a meaningful way but this is not a reason not to try?
If you take that as a guiding principle, this means very roughly one Bundesrat for every 1 million of population. Ticino is nowhere near big enough to qualify for that on a permanent basis on numbers alone, which is why it mostly gets lumped in with some other category (often inappropriately so). The last Ticinese Bundesrat as far as I can remember was Flavio Cotti. Without wishing to sound like Wolli here, Cotti was a real fine gentleman who did his job well. I don't know if there is anybody from Ticino now who would be in a position to take Widmer Schlumpf's place. If it has to be an SVP person, that is a problem for Ticino as the SVP is not very strong there and doesn't have many prominent people. Maybe when one of the FDP seats comes up would be a better time to take this discussion.
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Old 29.10.2015, 14:27
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

That's why ticino always proposes 9 federal councillors, and i agree with that, you could more easily represent diversity in the country and political strength of the parties.
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Old 29.10.2015, 16:56
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

I find it amusing how people typically use the term "cherry-picking" to depict the Swiss wishes in this and other issues with the EU. It could just as well be said that the EU wishes to do it's own "cherry-picking" with regards to agreements with Switzerland.

Either way I see no reason for cherry-picking, or looking for ones own benefit, in any arrangement. But here is a thought ...

To a growing number of Swiss people the FMOP is doing too much harm, perhaps not more harm than good but simply too much harm. Now in contrast, if Switzerland were to place quota's on immigration from the EU what harm would that case to the 28 EU member states - and is that percieved harm proportionately equivalent to the harm perceived to be taking place right now due to FMOP.

The reason I ask this is ... if an agreement between two parties is causing more harm to one than to the other (proportionately speaking) this would seem fair grounds for the party suffering more harm to call for a revision of the agreement. And if the party less harmed by the agreement refuses to take on sensible revisions it would be them who is doing the greatest amount of "cherry-picking" and not the party being disproportionately and unfairly harmed. IMHO
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Old 30.10.2015, 10:42
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

The trade agreements may benefit the stronger side more and that's how it is. If EU thinks it has something to gain by making FMP a must, then it will not yield unless it stands too loose something. Maybe EU thinks they can get better deal with CH and FMP is a convenient excuse to make it in velvet gloves under the disguise of FMP über alles. Such arm twisting already happened with bank secrecy, and now is happening with holding companies taxes.
But that's also happening within EU - e.g. "minimum corporate tax level", or the pressure on Ireland tax levels when it was given loans from EU to save its banks.
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Old 30.10.2015, 11:24
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

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Either way I see no reason for cherry-picking, or looking for ones own benefit, in any arrangement.
Sorry, I messed up there ... didn't quite finish the thought ...
What I meant to say is:

Either way I see no reason for cherry-picking, or looking for ones own benefit, in any arrangement, to be arbitrarily written off as wrong or unjust. What I do find wrong and unjust is if ones desire to look out for their own interest, whether financial, political, ideological or what have you, is directly related to a disproportionate level of harm caused to the other parties involved.

Last edited by EAB; 30.10.2015 at 14:21.
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Old 30.11.2015, 10:31
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Re: Masseneinwanderung Stoppen [initiative to limit immigration]

It seems from the latest news that there is a solution in sight after all, and that the Bundesrat think they can introduce a cap either with or without the EUs express approval without invalidating any bilateral.
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