Switzerland to Grant Croatia a “Work Permit”

Written by | Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Switzerland is going to provide Croatian nationals with access to its labour market as a response to the negotiations with the European Union after the notorious Swiss referendum on immigration. The EU Commission appreciated the Swiss decision to relax its stance towards labour market regulation but acknowledged that the EU-Swiss labour market policy will eventually need a longer-term resolution. Last February, the Swiss held a referendum in which they decided not to extend the free access to their labour market for Croatian nationals. Newly, the country is legally obliged to open its labour market to them in the next ten years starting from 1 July 2014.
Following the controversial referendum, the European Union announced that it had postponed talks with Switzerland on its participation in generous research and educational programs, Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. Bern’s recent concession is seen as part of intended measures aimed at limiting any EU backlash. The Swiss government said in an official statement that their current decisions demonstrated the struggle of the Federal Council to pursue a strategy to push ahead with, coordinate and manage, future negotiations on various levels of European policy in order to achieve the best possible outcome for Switzerland.
As a result, Croatians will not only be granted an unlimited access to the Swiss labour market as of July this year, but they will also have their qualifications and education recognized. Moreover, Bern is to provide Croatia with 45 million francs (37 million euro) as “an enlargement contribution”. The aim of the money is to reduce economic and social differences between the EU’s regions as a result of a speedy enlargement of the block. Moody’s, a rating agency, commented that the Swiss immigration curbs, which are being planned by the government and put into law in next 3 years, would harm the Swiss economy and mainly its financial and banking sectors.

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