Cooperation with the EU and EFTA

Efforts to safeguard internal security and manage migration flows have long extended beyond national boundaries. Today, European States need to take a common, consistent approach to such matters. The introduction of Schengen created a joint European area with no internal borders.

Participation in the Dublin System established uniform criteria for examining asylum applications, with each application being assigned to just one State.

The basis for Switzerland’s participation in Schengen and Dublin was laid on 26 October 2004 with the signing of the two association agreements. The following year, on 5 June 2005, the Swiss electorate voted in favour of participation. Switzerland’s participation in Schengen and Dublin has been operational since 12 December 2008. Since then, there have been no systematic controls on persons at Switzerland’s internal Schengen borders (at airports since 29 March 2009). From the same date, Switzerland began issuing Schengen visas and accepting them for entry into Switzerland.

Through its association with the Schengen and Dublin acquis, Switzerland is obliged to implement changes to the Schengen and Dublin legislative frameworks. SEM shares joint responsibility with the Federal Office of Police (fedpol) for adopting and implementing some 95% of all amendments. SEM participates in meetings of various EU working groups to help draft amendments and additions to the legal provisions that form the basis for Schengen and Dublin.

The Dublin Area includes all EU Member States. The Schengen Area encompasses most EU Member States, with the exception of Ireland, which has opted not to implement all the Schengen rules. Four other EU States (Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Croatia) are members but are not required to apply all the Schengen rules.

The "associated States", i.e. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, are the only non-EU Member States that apply all the Schengen and Dublin regulations.

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Last modification 23.04.2021

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