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Old 12.06.2008, 13:42
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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 18.06.2008, 23:00
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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, 00:21
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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, 00:44
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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 06.07.2008, 23:11
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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 06.07.2008, 23:44
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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, 18:13
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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 06.07.2008, 23:29
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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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