A Swiss parliamentary commission thinks it has found a way to implement controls on immigration.
On 9 February 2014, Swiss voters decided by a slim majority of 50.3% to adopt new rules on immigration. The Swiss government has three years to implement the changes and the deadline is fast approaching. The biggest stumbling block has been agreeing a deal with the EU. Bilateral Agreements with the EU come as a package that includes free trade and the free movement of people. Brussels has repeatedly said that Switzerland cannot pick and choose the bits of the agreement that it wants.
The proposal puts employers at the heart of controlling immigration numbers. If they are made aware that they must favour locals when recruiting, then immigration could be reduced explained Sommaruga in an interview with the NZZ am Sonntag.
The proposal would require employers to hire locals first and advertise vacancies in Swiss regional placement offices before advertising them elsewhere.
Simonetta Sommaruga pointed out that the plan would respect the EU deal on free movement of people. The Federal Council continues to discuss and search for an amicable solution with the EU. It would not be realistic to expect big concessions from the EU after Brexit, she said.
President Schneider-Ammann described the proposal as “interesting”. “This multi tiered plan addresses the constitutional mandate without damaging the agreement on free movement of people”, he said in an interview with SonntagsZeitung. He believes that this could reduce immigration.
The Swiss president meets the president of the european Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker on 19 September 2016.