Brussels enraged with Swiss referendum result to keep out EU citizens

Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the European Commission in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (second from left), participated in the high-level roundtable on the challenges ahead for the humanitarian action. The "150 years of Humanitarian Action - Addressing today’s challenges" event was organised by the Mission of Switzerland to the EU on the occasion of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the humanitarian action. Besides Kristalina Georgieva, Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC (second from right), Rashid Khalikov, Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva (first from right), and Nicolas Borsinger, President of the NGO VOICE (Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies) (first from left), also participated in the round table. The event was moderated by Alain Délétroz, political analyst. (EC Audiovisual Services, 29/10/2013).

Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the European Commission in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (second from left), participated in the high-level roundtable on the challenges ahead for the humanitarian action. The “150 years of Humanitarian Action – Addressing today’s challenges” event was organised by the Mission of Switzerland to the EU on the occasion of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the humanitarian action. Besides Kristalina Georgieva, Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC (second from right), Rashid Khalikov, Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva (first from right), and Nicolas Borsinger, President of the NGO VOICE (Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies) (first from left), also participated in the round table. The event was moderated by Alain Délétroz, political analyst. (EC Audiovisual Services, 29/10/2013).

This morning the European Union clearly showed its complete disappointment, with last Sunday’s result of a referendum held in Switzerland, where with a narrow majority of 50.3%, the people of this country approved a “mass immigration” initiative, imposing quotas on European Union citizens entering the Alpine Confederation. The narrow approval of this new law is very indicative of its controversial nature and the implications it may trigger from Brussels. Many international commentators blame the very system of referendums in Switzerland. With 100,000 signatures the citizens of this country can oblige the central authorities to hold a referendum on practically any issue, while the outcome has the power of a law.

Both the European Commission and the European Council Presidency held until 30 June by Greece, showed their deep disappointment with this development. They cited that the imposition of quotas on EU citizens entering the Swiss Confederation is a direct violation of the agreement between the two sides. What is even more indicative of the negative climate in Brussels about this Swiss referendum shows in both the Press releases published. The Commission and the Presidency of the Council openly threaten Switzerland not only with action on a similar front but question the entire relations package between the two sides.

Brussels on roof tops

On top of that, the Commission announcement contains references meaning interference in the internal political scenery of the Alpine direct democracy and also questioning the entire relations package between the two sides. It says, “This goes against the principle of free movement of persons between the EU and Switzerland. The EU will examine the implications of this initiative on EU-Swiss relations as a whole. In this context, the Federal Council’s position on the result will also be taken into account”.

Along the same lines the Press release of the Presidency of the Council stated the following: ”The EU will have to examine the implications of the outcome of the vote and is ready to work with the Swiss Government in order to find ways to tackle the issues arising therefrom. The Hellenic Presidency will closely follow this process with the EU institutions and its Member States”.

Not a simple matter

This is not at all a simple matter. A lot of people in the neighboring EU countries work in Switzerland and enter every morning and leave every afternoon. Will they be affected? Is it possible that EU citizens residing in the immediately neighboring countries (Germany, France, Italy and Austria) will be excluded from the quotas while say the Romanians and the Bulgarians to be meticulously numbered and monitored? Even the sub atomic particles accelerator and collider, in the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the well-known CERN, is built exactly on the French-Swiss border line. Half of its 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets, hidden bellow the ground, enters Switzerland.

There is no doubt that this Swiss referendum, so narrowly approved, is set to create many headaches to the government and the administration of this country. Being surrounded by the EU soil it will be very difficult to repel EU pressures in many fronts, from bank secrecy to free trade.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

China hails human rights progress amid calls to close detention camps

Closing the gap in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

EU is right place to tackle pandemic, but reform is needed, latest survey finds

Mosquitoes are helping to fight one of the world’s fastest spreading viruses – this is how

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs call for more clarity and transparency

How to change the world at Davos

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

This company is breeding millions of insects in the heart of London

Here’s how to close the $176 billion health financing gap

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Burundi election countdown amid ‘deteriorating’ human rights situation

Secure 5G networks: Commission endorses EU toolbox and sets out next steps

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Ozone on track to heal completely in our lifetime, UN environment agency declares on World Day.

Situation in central Mali ‘deteriorating’ as violence, impunity rise, UN rights expert warns

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar from accusations of genocide, at top UN court

If people aren’t responding to climate warnings, we need to change the message

De-escalation of fighting in Hodeida is key to ‘long-overdue’ restart of Yemen peace talks: UN envoy

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

What you need to know about the European Green Deal – and what comes next

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

What is true and not true about the new Coronavirus?

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

Forget 2009, this is the real credit crisis of our time

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: The fruits of sustainability and decent work

Women in Switzerland have gone on strike – this is why

Monday’s Daily Brief: global homicide figures, neo-Nazi recruitment, Kashmir, and migrants’ plight in USA

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

An economist explains how to go carbon neutral in our lifetime

These countries are ranked highest – and lowest – for human development

We need to rethink the way we heat ourselves. Here’s why

Human rights breaches in Guinea Conakry and Madagascar

What has changed in the French politico-economic horizon

Countdown To GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018 Is On

How innovation from within is transforming International Organizations as well as lives

Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

International Criminal Court acquits former president Gbagbo of war crimes in Côte d’Ivoire

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

How the tech world could make nonprofits a more powerful force

Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

High-tech or ‘high-touch’: UK survey gives clues to the jobs of the future

‘This is a time for facts, not fear,’ says WHO chief as COVID-19 virus spreads

Libya: $202 million needed to bring life-saving aid to half a million people hit by humanitarian crisis

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

Parliament adopts InvestEU programme for strategic and innovative investments

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

UK voters sent strong message to May and Corbyn for soft Brexit

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

EU and China sign landmark agreement protecting European Geographical Indications

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

UN chief underscores value of cooperation with Southeast Asian countries

Resolving Israel-Palestinian conflict, ‘key to sustainable peace’ in the Middle East: Guterres

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

Female African coders ‘on the front-line of the battle’ to change gender power relations: UN chief

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Brussels needs to be strict about the four pillars of free movement. No free movement of people should disqualify free trade. It needs to make an example that the UK government with its racist and anti immigration line recognises as the consequence of it’s own policies. Switzerland will still have to put into place laws to trade with Europe which it has no control over so this won’t be good for them in the long term.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s