Switzerland restricts Romanians’ access to the labour market


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The Swiss Federal Council has decided to activate the safeguard clause applicable to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) says, which informs that Secretary of State George Ciamba had a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Pascale Baerswyl, in which the Romanian official expressed regret over the decision made by the Swiss side and showed that it is in dissonance with the contribution that the Romanian community in Switzerland – in its highly qualified majority – has on the local labour market.

State Secretary with the Swiss Confederation’s Foreign Affairs Department, Pascale Baerswyl, reported the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to activate the safeguard clause applicable to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens as provided for in Protocol II to the EU-Switzerland Free Movement Agreement.

This measure is valid for one year and may be renewed in 2018 and has as deadline May 31, 2019.

The measure concerns only the issuance of new B-type residence permits (1 to 5 years of residence), without restricting the issuance of L-type permits (stay below one year) nor C-type (permits whose release is not governed by the agreement) nor the extension of B-type licenses already issued.

The Swiss side has explained that the measure does not singularize Romania, being implemented by Switzerland in 2012 for the new Member States and in 2013 for the other EU Member States.

At the same time, according to the data provided by the Swiss authorities, approximately 3,900 B-type residence permits were granted to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens during June 2016-May 2017, a figure that exceeds the average threshold of the last three years of 1,024 permits, the MAE release reads.


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