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Old 12.06.2008, 14:42
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Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Parliament decides on EU accord

Parliament has agreed on how it will present proposals to Swiss voters on modifying a key bilateral accord with the European Union.

The plan to prolong the free movement of people treaty as well as extending the accord to the EU's two newest members, Romania and Bulgaria, will be presented to the electorate in a single package.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in approving a motion to combine the two issues.
They will be put to the electorate next year.
The rightwing Swiss People's Party, which favours lengthening the treaty duration but is opposed to extending the accord to Bulgaria and Romania, wanted the issues to be put to two separate votes.
The government also favoured two votes even though it wants to see both issues approved.
The agreement on the free movement of people has been in force with the 15 "old" EU countries since 2002.
Voters agreed in 2004 to extend the right to the ten new member states.
The agreement lasts until 2009. It will be prolonged automatically by the EU, but in Switzerland continuation is subject to a referendum.
Source: http://www.swissinfo.org

What would this mean for Bulgaria and Romania, if the Swiss say "yes"? Will they get a permit, once they have found a job there? I read somewhere, that the quotas will stay for a few more years, but will at least the procedure of getting a permit become easier? And when should the changes take effect?
Thanks!
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Old 19.06.2008, 00:00
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Rather than start a new thread let me add this here. I just noticed that the French version of SwissInfo has an article Volte-face de Christoph Blocher, or "Christopher Blocher makes a U-turn". He is opposed to a referendum on the joint package put together by parliament. He also seems to doubt that the Ticcinese Lega plus the Swiss Democrats will be able to collect enough signatures without the help of the SVP.

I do not read German, but this article on SwissInfo should be similar: Blocher macht Kehrtwende.

Nothing yet on the English site.
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Old 06.07.2008, 01:21
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

This has appeared in English.

http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/news_di...76728000&ty=nd

Also, I read elsewhere that the SVP's popularity has dropped significantly (from 30% down to 23%) since the last election. They don't want to lose yet another referendum.
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Old 06.07.2008, 01:44
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

The Senate surely knew what it was doing when it insisted on combining the renewal with the extension

I never understood why the National Council was so insistent in separating the two, giving the SVP the gift of allowing it to oppose the (presumably unpopular) extension, without appearing to attack the well established agreement with the older EU states.
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Old 07.07.2008, 00:11
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Also, I read elsewhere that the SVP's popularity has dropped significantly (from 30% down to 23%) since the last election.
I just read L'UDC chute dans les sondages in the French version of SwissInfo, nothing in English, but there is a German version (Google translate confirmed what the article was about, not a very felicitous translation to say the least) Umfrage: SVP muss Federn lassen.

Of the roughly six percentage points they lost the major government parties got about half, and the new secessionist party got half. The latter is hardly enough to make them a viable force nationally.
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Old 07.07.2008, 00:29
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Source: http://www.swissinfo.org

What would this mean for Bulgaria and Romania, if the Swiss say "yes"? Will they get a permit, once they have found a job there? I read somewhere, that the quotas will stay for a few more years, but will at least the procedure of getting a permit become easier? And when should the changes take effect?
Thanks!
Right now, nothing is decided. The largest Swiss political party, the SVP, had previously threatened calling a referendum. Now the SVP says it will not.

Some other group can still decide to seek a referendum. If so, they have time (6 months?) to collect minimum number of signatures. Then, the topic will be scheduled for a ballot (usually 4 times a year).

Worst case, there is no implementation for years.
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Old 07.07.2008, 00:44
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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I just read L'UDC chute dans les sondages in the French version of SwissInfo, nothing in English, but there is a German version (Google translate confirmed what the article was about, not a very felicitous translation to say the least) Umfrage: SVP muss Federn lassen.

Of the roughly six percentage points they lost the major government parties got about half, and the new secessionist party got half. The latter is hardly enough to make them a viable force nationally.
The new BDP party has regional strength in the cantons of Bern and Grison. Two of the 7 federal councilors (Cabinet Ministers) support it. The split can severely hamper the ability of the SVP to get its way in Parliament. For example Mr.Blocher's failure to be reelected.

The SVP party is not homogeneous. The biz lobby likes the EU because of the business opportunities. The farm lobby fears agricultural imports from the EU. The seniors are EU phobic. The younger members are EU agnostic. The recent secession could set off a chain reaction of further splits. To prevent that, the SVP hawks decided not to call a referendum and annoy their own biz lobby.
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Old 06.10.2008, 19:13
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

EU labor treaty goes to third public ballot (Swissinfo article)

Like Goldtop explained, other political groups than the SVP collected enough signatures to exact a vote. These were the Young SVP, the Lega dei Ticinesi and the (moribund?) Swiss Democrats.

The Swiss people will vote simultaneously about the movement of people treaty's continuation and extension to Romania and Bulgaria, most probably on 8.2.2009.
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Old 06.10.2008, 23:41
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

So the SVP now has two major issues that threaten to split it:
  • Federal Council. Assuming that Herr Schmidt leaves the Federal Council, will they put Herr Blocher forward, knowing well that he will again be rejected, or will they seek a candidate acceptable to parliament? The party seems badly split on this issue.
  • Free movement. Officially the party is for abstention, but many members want to vote NO. Of course, the economic wing is just as strongly in favor of a YES vote. A second, equally serious, split.
Herr Blocher is deeply involved in both issues. The first concerns his political future (or lack thereof). As for the second, it was he who decided not to contest the vote once the two items had been merged into a single referendum (or is it initiative)?

I am sure that the party leadership understands the curse "May you live in interesting times"

[Added]
Should have put a link to an article in Le Temps (a really excellent paper!!): L'UDC et l'ASIN sont prises au piège de la libre circulation des personnes. Google translate verion: The UDC and ASIN are trapped the free movement of persons:
Quote:
REFERENDUM. The success of the Young UDC requires the umbrella party and the nationalist movement to reconsider their position. The financial challenge is considerable because the business held firmly to free movement.
[/Added]

Last edited by RetiredInNH; 07.10.2008 at 01:21.
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  #10  
Old 07.10.2008, 09:35
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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So the SVP now has two major issues that threaten to split it:
  • Federal Council. Assuming that Herr Schmidt leaves the Federal Council, will they put Herr Blocher forward, knowing well that he will again be rejected, or will they seek a candidate acceptable to parliament? The party seems badly split on this issue.
  • Free movement. Officially the party is for abstention, but many members want to vote NO. Of course, the economic wing is just as strongly in favor of a YES vote. A second, equally serious, split.
Herr Blocher is deeply involved in both issues. The first concerns his political future (or lack thereof). As for the second, it was he who decided not to contest the vote once the two items had been merged into a single referendum (or is it initiative)?

I am sure that the party leadership understands the curse "May you live in interesting times"

[Added]
Should have put a link to an article in Le Temps (a really excellent paper!!): L'UDC et l'ASIN sont prises au piège de la libre circulation des personnes. Google translate verion: The UDC and ASIN are trapped the free movement of persons:[/Added]
Zurich newspapers report that Billionaire B is upset because the party did not vote to make him sole candidate for the next vacancy in the Federal Council. B has been bankrolling the SVP's (often obnoxious) PR campaigns.

The SVP fears that B will not pay for future campaigns.The other very wealthy SVP members are pro business and therefore want closer EU relationship.
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Old 28.10.2008, 18:52
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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B has been bankrolling the SVP's (often obnoxious) PR campaigns.
I assume these large expenditures on advertising are in no way related to the fact that Mr B gets many column inches in the Press when he does something usually not considered front page material; like, for example, going on holiday.

Marton
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Old 28.10.2008, 19:23
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

How would that in any way influence his political direction?? It may be helpful for a singer or film star to do that so as not to be forgotten, but how does this help him pushing the political agenda?

I guess he could buy some front-page articles with his spare-cash if he wanted to (just like those SVP campaigns...)

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I assume these large expenditures on advertising are in no way related to the fact that Mr B gets many column inches in the Press when he does something usually not considered front page material; like, for example, going on holiday.

Marton
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Old 28.10.2008, 21:40
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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I assume these large expenditures on advertising are in no way related to the fact that Mr B gets many column inches in the Press when he does something usually not considered front page material; like, for example, going on holiday.

Marton
He has his big fan club.

Which newspapers do you read? I read the NZZ, a serious and profound newspaper. They do not front page the holiday plans of former ministers.
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Old 29.10.2008, 02:02
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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He has his big fan club.

Which newspapers do you read? I read the NZZ, a serious and profound newspaper. They do not front page the holiday plans of former ministers.
I read Tages Anzeiger & I quote from 1 October
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/27255751
"headline SVP schickt Blocher in die Ferien"

Marton
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Old 29.10.2008, 02:03
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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How would that in any way influence his political direction?? It may be helpful for a singer or film star to do that so as not to be forgotten, but how does this help him pushing the political agenda?

I guess he could buy some front-page articles with his spare-cash if he wanted to (just like those SVP campaigns...)
It is a Presidential campaign; look at the man not at the policies

Marton
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Old 29.10.2008, 09:04
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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I read Tages Anzeiger & I quote from 1 October
http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/27255751
"headline SVP schickt Blocher in die Ferien"

Marton
The headline is sarcastic. Mr. B was "sent off" on his holidays; meaning that the party is distancing itself from its mentor.
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Old 29.10.2008, 13:18
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

Once again the SVP changes its mind about the extension! No English version on SwissInfo, but here are the German and French versions.
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Old 29.10.2008, 20:12
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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Once again the SVP changes its mind about the extension! No English version on SwissInfo, but here are the German and French versions.
The SVP party loyalists would have voted NO, anyway. Now that the SVP has officially decided to oppose the inclusion of Bulgaria and Romania, look out for obnoxious posters.

Also encouraging a NO are vicious attacks that the German Finance Minister has launched on the Swiss banking secrecy.
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Old 30.10.2008, 01:17
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

What would happen if Swiss people vote against the treaty? What would be the situation of EU citizens already working in Switzerland?
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Old 30.10.2008, 09:41
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Re: Prolonging the free movement of people treaty

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What would happen if Swiss people vote against the treaty? What would be the situation of EU citizens already working in Switzerland?
That depends on the EU. The EU may retaliate by terminating all bilateral agreements with Switzerland. Consequently, EU citizens would have no privileged status here. The Swiss immigration would then issue work permits, on a case-by-case basis, just like they now do for non-EU immigrants.
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