26th meeting of the Swiss-EU Joint AFMP Committee

Bern-Wabern, 27.10.2023 - The 26th meeting of the Swiss-EU Joint Committee on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) was held in Brussels on 26 October. The two delegations discussed various matters pertaining to the application of the AFMP.

In their discussions, both sides agreed that the AFMP works well overall, highlighting key moments from the past twelve months that illustrate this and remarking on the general sentiment with regard to the agreement.

Switzerland pointed out that it is currently facing a shortage of labour and skilled workers. This is due not only to economic growth and a strong economic recovery after the pandemic, but also to demographic developments. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the recruitment of workers from the EU area in the past year, which against the backdrop of high immigration in general has once again powered an intense debate on migration in Switzerland.

Decision this year on the safeguard clause for Croatia

On 16 November 2022, the Federal Council decided to invoke the safeguard clause for Croatia provided for by Article 10 paragraph 4 letter d AFMP. This means that since 1 January 2023, Croatian nationals wishing to take up self-employed or employed work in Switzerland have again been subject to quotas for short-term residence permits (EU/EFTA permit L) and residence permits (EU/EFTA permit B). The restrictions initially apply until the end of 2023. The Swiss delegation informed the EU on the occasion of the Joint Committee meeting that the Federal Council will decide by the end of 2023 on a possible extension of the safeguard clause for Croatian workers into 2024.

Application of the AFMP for Swiss nationals in EU member states

Switzerland and the EU exchanged views on other issues concerning the application of the AFMP, not only in Switzerland but also in the EU and its member states. The Swiss delegation pointed out that Swiss nationals in individual EU member states are affected by legislation which, in Switzerland's view, is not compatible with the agreement. The European Commission was therefore called upon to seek appropriate solutions with the member states concerned. The aim is to ensure that Swiss nationals residing in EU member states can also fully benefit from their rights under the AFMP.

Swiss-EU Joint AFMP Committee

The Swiss-EU Joint Committee usually meets once a year to discuss issues concerning the application of the AFMP. The meeting of the Joint Committee was chaired this year by the European Commission and took place in Brussels. The Swiss delegation was led by Regula Mader, vice director at the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). The EU delegation was led by Nicolas von Lingen, who serves as head of section at the Secretariat-General of the European Commission for the EEA, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.

Address for enquiries

SEM Information and Communication, medien@sem.admin.ch


State Secretariat for Migration

Last modification 10.06.2024

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