Popular initiative ‘For moderate immigration (Limitation Initiative)’

On the 27 of September 2020 the Swiss electorate voted on the Popular initiative 'For moderate immigration (Limitation Initiative)'.


In brief

Decr Free movement of persons applies between Switzerland and the member states of the European Union (EU). It allows EU citizens to live, work and study in Switzerland, subject to certain requirements, while Swiss citizens can do the same in the EU. The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) is one of the seven bilateral agreements that Switzerland and the EU have negotiated as a package known as Bilaterals I. Bilaterals I gives Swiss businesses direct access to the European market. If the AFMP is terminated, the other six agreements automatically cease to apply (by virtue of what is known as a ‘guillotine clause’). Because of the corona crisis, the free movement of persons was temporarily restricted.

The initiative aims to end the free movement of persons with the EU. If the initiative is accepted, the Federal Council must negotiate a way of terminating the AFMP with the EU within twelve months. If these negotiations fail, the Federal Council must unilaterally terminate the AFMP within a further 30 days. In this case, the guillotine clause would be applied: the six other agreements in the Bilaterals I package would automatically cease to apply. The initiative also prohibits Switzerland from entering into any new international obligations that grant freedom of movement to foreign citizens.


Who is entitled to vote? Where and how to vote?


Last modification 11.07.2022

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