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23rd meeting of the Swiss-EU Joint Committee on Free Movement

22.10.2020 — Press release DEA
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 23rd meeting of the Swiss – EU Joint Committee on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) was held today by video conference. The delegations from Switzerland and from the European Union and its member states discussed various matters relating to the AFMP’s application and development. The two partners stressed the importance of their close cooperation in managing the public health crisis.


Federal Council appoints Livia Leu as new State Secretary and approves adjustments to the structure of the FDFA

14.10.2020 — Press release DEA
Livia Leu, who is currently Switzerland's ambassador in Paris, will assume the leadership of the Directorate for European Affairs (DEA) with immediate effect and will take up the post of chief negotiator for negotiations with the EU. She will receive the title of State Secretary. The Federal Council took this decision at its meeting on 14 October 2020. It also agreed to adjustments to the structure of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). From 1 January, the European Affairs and Political Affairs directorates will be merged under a single State Secretariat headed by Livia Leu as the FDFA State Secretary.


Ceneri 2020: Base tunnel opening ceremony and NRLA fully operative

06.08.2020 — Press release Mission EU Brussels
Bern, 06.08.2020 - In the first week of September, Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis and the president of the Ticino cantonal council Norman Gobbi will open the new Ceneri Base Tunnel, the final link in the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA). The tunnel will be officially handed over to the operator SBB on 4 September. A day previously, Ms Sommaruga will meet representatives of Switzerland’s partner countries. The NRLA – the heart of the rail freight corridor running through the Alps – is key to Switzerland’s policy of shifting freight transport from road to rail. Thanks to the Ceneri Base Tunnel, Ticino also gains an attractive suburban railway.


State Secretary Hirayama at the informal EU ministerial meeting on research and innovation

21.07.2020 — Press release DEA
State Secretary Martina Hirayama participated by videoconference in the informal meeting of the ministers for research and innovation of the EU member states on 21 July 2020. The biannual event focused on the dialogue about joint research and innovation activities to foster a sustainable and sovereign Europe, in particular in the context of global crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland’s participation highlighted its commitment to the European Research Area and emphasised that it attaches great importance to generating and sharing knowledge at the international level.


Personenfreizügigkeit im Jahr 2019: Arbeitsmarkt weiterhin ausgeglichen

29.06.2020 — Press release DEA
Die Zuwanderung aus dem EU/EFTA-Raum in die Schweiz belief sich 2019 auf 30 700 Personen und ging damit im Vergleich zu 2018 leicht zurück, wie das SECO in seinem 16. Bericht des Observatoriums zum Freizügigkeitsabkommen Schweiz–EU festhält. Diese Entwicklung geht mit einem hohen Beschäftigungsgrad und einer rückläufigen Arbeitslosigkeit einher. Das inländische Arbeitskräftepotenzial wird zunehmend besser ausgeschöpft. Die Zuwanderung trägt zur Arbeitsmarktflexibilität bei und Personen, die im Familiennachzug eingewandert sind, integrieren sich gut in den Arbeitsmarkt.


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis meets Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Ticino

16.06.2020 — Press release DEA
Following the reopening of borders within Europe, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis has met the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio in Ticino. Together with his Italian counterpart, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) highlighted the good cooperation between Switzerland and Italy in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed solidarity and encouragement to the people living on either side of the Italian-Swiss border.


Coronavirus: Switzerland to lift COVID restrictions regarding all EU/EFTA states

12.06.2020 — Press release DEA
At its meeting on 12 June, the Federal Council took note of the decision taken by the FDJP to lift the entry restrictions that currently apply between all Schengen States as of 15 June, as was announced last week. Controls at Swiss borders with these states will end on this date and full free movement of persons will be restored with all EU/EFTA states and with the United Kingdom.



Coronavirus: Further easing of entry restrictions from 8 June

27.05.2020 — DEA
The Federal Council is to further relax entry restrictions in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions will be lifted in step with the reopening of the economy. From 8 June, the cantons will begin processing applications from workers from the EU/EFTA member states. In addition, Swiss companies will be allowed to employ highly skilled workers from third countries if this is in the public interest, or if they are urgently required. To benefit the domestic workforce, companies will again be required to give notification of job vacancies, a measure that was temporarily suspended during the lockdown. Lastly, the Federal Council plans to lift all travel restrictions and re-establish the free movement of persons across the Schengen area no later than 6 July. Border controls with Germany, Austria and France will be lifted as early as 15 June, as previously announced.


Securing access to research cooperation and funding programmes in Europe

20.05.2020 — DEA
Horizon Europe, the EU’s next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, is due to start in 2021. Along with three other European initiatives, Horizon Europe forms the ‘2021–2027 Horizon package’. On 20 May 2020 the Federal Council adopted a dispatch on funding requesting Parliament to approve CHF 6,154 million in funding to secure Switzerland’s participation in the Horizon package. Provided Parliament approves this funding, the Federal Council and the EU will be able to renew their bilateral research agreement and secureSwitzerland’s continued and uninterrupted participation in the Horizon package as an associated state.


Coronavirus: Easing of travel restrictions between Austria, Germany and Switzerland

15.05.2020 — Press release DEA
Bern-Wabern, 15.05.2020 - The borders between Switzerland, Germany and Austria are to open again for unmarried couples in long-term cross-border relationships, and for those wishing to visit relatives or attend important family events. Restrictions will also be lifted for people who own a property for personal use, tend allotments, or maintain agricultural or hunting land or woodland. People needing to take care of animals may also cross the border.


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