Press Release (16.12.2016 - FDJP)

Switzerland ratifies Croatia protocol

Bern. Switzerland has ratified the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. On 17 June this year, the Federal Assembly authorised the Federal Council to ratify Protocol III extending the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) to Croatia, subject to a specific condition. After Parliament passed the act implementing Article 121a of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Council concluded that this condition had been fulfilled. At its meeting on 16 December 2016, it therefore authorised the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in cooperation with the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), to confirm the ratification of Protocol III to the EU. This also means the precondition has been met for Switzerland to participate fully in the Horizon 2020 research programme.

Press Release (10.10.2016 - SEM)

Switzerland and Azerbaijan strengthen their relations with two new agreements

Bern. Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), received his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Bern during an official visit. At this meeting the ministers signed two agreements to strengthen cooperation between Switzerland and Azerbaijan on readmissions and visas. They also addressed various bilateral issues, economic ones in particular, and discussed several regional and international matters.

Press Release (19.09.2016 - FDJP)

UN issues declaration on refugees and migration

Bern. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga represented Switzerland on Monday at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in New York. The states want to meet the challenges posed by large movements of refugees and migrants more effectively and issued a political declaration on this issue. Federal Councillor Sommaruga stressed that Switzerland wants to play an active role in implementing the goals agreed at the summit in New York.

Press Release (04.03.2016 - FDJP)

Federal Council submits draft legislation to manage immigration

Bern. On Friday the Federal Council submitted to Parliament several pieces of draft legislation to implement the constitutional provisions on immigration. The Federal Council is continuing to push for a mutually agreed solution with the EU. Since it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement with the EU, however, as announced, the Federal Council is now proposing a unilateral safeguard clause to control immigration that will allow it to fix annual limits if immigration exceeds a certain level. To better utilise the resident workforce, the Federal Council also wants it to be easier for people from the asylum system who are allowed to remain in Switzerland to find employment. At the same time it approved an amendment to the Foreign Nationals Act which prevents foreign jobseekers from accessing social welfare. The Federal Council also adopted the dispatch on the extension of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMPA) to Croatia. Ratification of the Croatia protocol is a requirement for Switzerland to continue to take part in the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research.

Press Release (01.03.2016 - SEM)

Switzerland to participate in the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

Berne. Switzerland’s participation in the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) strengthens cooperation with Dublin states on asylum matters and is therefore in Switzerland’s interest. A corresponding agreement with the European Union comes into effect today.

Information (15.01.2016 - SEM)

Confiscation of assets part of Swiss law for 20 years

The Swiss authorities have the right to confiscate part of the assets belonging to persons seeking asylum. This ensures that persons seeking asylum make a small contribution to the costs incurred in relation to their stay in Switzerland. This practice is based on a well-established principle: other people living in Switzerland must reimburse the costs that they occasion to the social assistance fund. Personal items such as wedding rings are not confiscated.

Press Release (21.12.2015 - FDJP)

Switzerland–EU: Consultations on free movement of persons to intensify

Berne. President Simonetta Sommaruga met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the Council Jean Asselborn for a working meeting in Brussels on Monday. The three agreed to continue and intensify consultations on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons. Both sides aim to reach a mutually acceptable solution that complies with both the Swiss Constitution and the Agreement on Free Movement.

Press Release (16.12.2015 - SEM)

USA to simplify entry requirements for Swiss frequent travellers

Bern. Switzerland and the USA on Wednesday signed a declaration of intent on Switzerland’s participation in the United States’ Global Entry programme. In future, Swiss citizens who qualify will also be able to take part in the programme and thus benefit from simplified entry procedures at American airports.

Press Release (04.12.2015 - FDJP)

Controlling immigration: Federal Council decides on safeguard clause

Bern. The Federal Council today discussed how immigration can be managed so as to comply with constitutional requirements. It made a number of preliminary decisions, taking account of the results of consultations on the draft of new legislation on foreign nationals: the Federal Council is looking to apply a safeguard clause in order to control the immigration of persons covered by the Agreement on the free movement of persons with the European Union (EU). To do so, it will seek a mutually acceptable solution with the EU. In the event that it is unable to reach agreement with the EU in time, the Federal Council has, in a parallel move, instructed the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) to draft a dispatch on a unilateral safeguard clause. This dispatch should be ready by the beginning of March 2016. The Federal Council will consider measures to enhance the potential of the domestic workforce and tackle labour market abuses at its meeting on 18 December.

Press Release (23.10.2015 - FDJP)

President Sommaruga to pay official working visit to Ethiopia

Bern. Ethiopia and Switzerland want to further intensify and strengthen their good bilateral relations. It is with this aim that a Swiss delegation led by President Simonetta Sommaruga will be traveling to Addis Ababa this weekend.

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