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Swiss Abroad want to keep freedom of movement

Published on 11/07/2020

The Swiss Abroad community opposes an initiative of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) seeking to curb immigration from the European Union into Switzerland.

The SVP initiative, which reflects worries among some Swiss about immigration in general, demands that the government scrap the freedom of movement agreement with the EU within a year.

Accepting such an initiative would be disastrous for Switzerland and the 460,000 Swiss citizens who live in the EU, the Congress of the Swiss Abroad said on Friday.

The freedom of movement agreement between Switzerland and the EU allows Swiss citizens to work and settle in any country of the bloc, noted the organisation.

Restricting these rights would hamper the mobility of all Swiss and damage Switzerland as a business destination, it added.

For Swiss people abroad, geographical and occupational mobility, the coordination of social security systems and the right to remain in the EU after finishing their professional activity are essential.

In total, there were 770,900 registered expatriate Swiss in 2019. Most Swiss Abroad citizens live in Europe, notably in neighbouring France, Germany and Italy.

The Swiss will vote on the SVP initiative on September 27, the first nationwide vote since the start of the coronavirus crisis.