Wednesday, 20 May 2009

EU: Free movement Switzerland (Bulgaria & Romania)

The Swiss Confederation is the one EFTA country, which is not a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) ─ as are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway ─ so closer relations with the European Union and its member states have been built gradually on the basis of bilateral (and plurilateral) agreements.

The Wikipedia overview article Switzerland and the European Union (latest update 19 May 2009) describes the Swiss Confederation as a virtual member of the EEA or even the EU. (Despite the so called Guillotine Clause, given the importance of referendums in the Swiss constitutional system, the “even the EU” could be seen as an exaggeration.)




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Accession and free movement

From the point of view of the European Union, the extension of free movement to Switzerland with regard to the latest EU entrants Bulgaria and Romania is now confirmed by the official publication of the relevant documents.


Council Decision

The first document is the formal Council Decision 2009/392/EC of 27 November 2008 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community and its Member States, of a Protocol to the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons regarding the participation, as contracting parties of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania pursuant to their accession to the European Union, published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 20.5.2009 L 124/51.




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Protocol

The second document is the Protocol to the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons, regarding the participation, as contracting parties of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania pursuant to their accession to the European Union, published OJEU 20.5.2009 L 124/53.



The Protocol, to be ratified, contains the substantial provisions, including the transitional clauses (limitations).



Ralf Grahn