No Move without Free Movement: The EU-Swiss controversy over quotas for free movement of persons
The focus of this Policy Brief is the Swiss referendum of 2014 against ‘mass immigration’ in Switzerland. It identifies the challenges that a quota on EU citizens’ free movement rights to Switzerland would pose to EU-Swiss relations, considering: i) the value of freedom of movement in the EU and its indivisibility from the internal market and other economic freedoms; ii) the specificity of the EU legal system following the Lisbon Treaty that established democratic and judicial accountability mechanisms; iii) the lack of supranational judicial oversight of the EU-Switzerland agreements framework; and iv) the existence of the so-called guillotine mechanism, according to which the termination of the Free Movement Agreement would entail the automatic termination of the other agreements with the EU. The authors set out a number of options and consider their implications for EU-Swiss relations.
Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Programme, Elspeth Guild is Associate Senior Research Fellow and Katharina Eisele is a former Researcher at CEPS.