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Switzerland: Differentiation between EU citizens based on their nationality by the Swiss authorities is a clear case of discrimination. Rafal Trzaskowski MEP and Andreas Schwab MEP


19 Apr 2012


Justice & Home Affairs

"The decision of the Swiss Federal Council to re-establish quotas on certain categories of residence permits granted to nationals of 8 Member States is inacceptable and can only be described as a discriminatory measure," said Rafal Trzaskowski MEP, Rapporteur on the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

"I consider this measure to be in breach of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between the EU and the Swiss Federation, and certainly against the spirit of the political dialogue, which the Parliament holds with its Swiss counterparts," added Andreas Schwab MEP, EPP Group Coordinator on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO).  

"In the Parliament we have shown a great understanding for the specificity of the Swiss Federation, which so far hasn't allowed for establishing a far simpler and more effective system of cooperation with the EU that exists with countries like Norway or Iceland. However, decisions like this one raise serious doubts as to the intentions of our Swiss partners. Such clear discrimination between EU nationals should never take place," stressed Rafal Trzaskowski.

"We expect the Federal Council to withdraw its decision and call upon the Commission to take all necessary measures foreseen in the event of such a breach of an international agreement concluded by the EU," said Andreas Schwab.

The Swiss Federal Council announced on Wednesday that from May 1st the country would temporarily re-introduce an authorisation requirement for workers coming from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004. The 8 Member States are: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

For further information:

Rafał TRZASKOWSKI MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175784

Andreas SCHWAB MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175938

Agata Byczewska, EPP Group Press and Communications Service Tel. +32-473-841093

Thomas Bickl, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-478-215372

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.



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