Following the rejection of the EEA by the Swiss people on 6 December 1992, the Federal Council had decided to enter into bilateral negotiations with the European Union in various areas, including the free movement of persons. The negotiations were concluded on December 11, 1998 in Vienna. On 21 June 1999, the negotiating parties signed the seven agreements in Luxembourg. At the referendum on 21 May 2000, the bilateral agreements were accepted by the people with a clear majority. The free movement of persons between Switzerland and the European Union brings with it a lot of changes for foreign and domestic workers.
Content of the agreement on the free movement and transitional arrangements
The Agreement on Free Movement provides for a gradual, non-automatic transition to free movement of persons. It is based on the full reciprocity of the regulations (that is, the rules apply to each other EU-CH). The transitional period is five years. After a seven-year introductory period, the referendum can be taken. The definitive introduction takes place after twelve years.
In force since 1 June 2002 – transitional periods
The rules on free movement of persons entered into force on ratification of the bilateral treaties on 1 June 2002. The Agreement on Free Movement provides for a gradual, non-automatic transition to free movement of persons. The agreement is based on the full reciprocity of the regulations (CH-EU)
For the first two years, national treatment and national priority apply. According to this, all EU citizens already resident in Switzerland and employed as employees are treated as equal to Swiss employees and have priority in granting a permanent residence permit to newly arriving EU nationals and third-country nationals.
Accompanying measures (for example the Posting Law, simplified general declaration of Swiss collective labor agreements) should prevent unwanted wage or social dumping. Before a person from a third country (outside the EU / EFTA) can be recruited, recruitment efforts in the EU / EFTA area must be proven. For example, job advertisements can be placed under EURES (European Employment Services, see links in the appendix). There are still contingents.