The Federal Council resolved to draw up two versions of a counter-proposal to the Rasa initiative (‘Get us out of the dead end. Don't reintroduce immigration quotas!’) for consultation. The initiative seeks to overturn the results of the vote on 9 February 2014 and remove the provisions on immigration (Art. 121a and Art. 197 no. 11) from the Federal Constitution, without substitution.



The Federal Council has ratified the Protocol III extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. This also means the precondition has been met for Switzerland to participate fully in the «Horizon 2020» research framework programme of the EU from 1.1.2017 on.




The Slovakian Presidency of the Council of the EU confirmed receipt of the letter in which Switzerland informed it that its 1992 application for EU membership should be considered withdrawn.


The President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Ammann, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, have met in Zurich. President Schneider-Ammann stressed that Switzerland was not able to accept a legal link between the dossiers on immigration and an institutional agreement.


The Federal Council has extended the 2014–2016 interim solution for Swiss participation in individual projects of the European mobility programme Erasmus+ by one year.


Switzerland informed the Council of the EU in a letter that the application for accession to the EU that Switzerland submitted in 1992 should be considered as withdrawn.



At a meeting, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, decided to intensify the technical discussions on a mutually acceptable solution to implementing Article 121a of the Federal Constitution.


The SECO Observatory Report on the free movement of persons shows a small decrease in immigration in 2015 down to 71,000 (67% of whom are from the EU).




The electorate of the United Kingdom has decided in a referendum to leave the European Union.


The Federal Council has approved the complete revision of the Goods Carriage Ordinance and has put them into effect together with the Goods Carriage Act on 1 July 2016. Refunds of the performance-related heavy vehicle charge (LSVA) for pre- and onward carriage in combined traffic will be reduced by 10% as per 1 January 2017.



According to a SECO report in 2015, activities to monitor the implementation of the accompanying measures on the free movement of persons between Switzerland and the EU have been further intensified and national monitoring targets have been clearly exceeded. Most of the companies that were inspected complied with the salary and working conditions applicable in Switzerland.



The Federal Council has taken note of the report on the results of the consultation procedure carried out from October 2014 to January 2015 on the federal decree concerning the full opening of the electricity market. Because of controversial responses during the consultation procedure, the Federal Council plans to wait with the full opening of the electricity market.



On 1 June 2016 the transitional provisions concerning the free movement of persons for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania cease to apply. The Federal Council has adopted the partial revision of the relevant ordinance.



Switzerland and the EU have signed two agreements on Switzerland's participation in EUCAP Sahel Mali, the EU's civilian mission for the reform of the security sector in Mali, and in EUAM Ukraine, the EU advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine.


Switzerland and the EU have signed Protocol III regarding the extension of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement to Croatia.


The Federal Council submitted to Parliament several pieces of draft legislation to implement the constitutional provisions on immigration. The Federal Council is continuing to push for a mutually agreed solution with the EU. Since it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement with the EU, however, the Federal Council is now proposing a unilateral safeguard clause.



The agreement with the EU for Switzerland’s participation in the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has entered into force.


In a popular vote, 58,9% of the Swiss people and the majority of the Cantons have rejected the popular initiative «On the enforcement of the expulsion of foreign criminals (the enforcement initiative)».

Voter participation amounted to 63,1%.



As part of the Dispatch on International Cooperation, the Federal Council has submitted the renewal of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe to Parliament for approval.



Switzerland and the EU have concluded the negotiations on linking their emissions trading schemes and initialled the agreement.



The Netherlands have taken over the presidency of the Council of the EU from Luxembourg for a six-month term.

Chronology Relations Switzerland-EU 2016