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The title of the publication I linked:

The European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland and the North

The European Economic Area (EEA) was set up in 1994 to extend the EU's provisions on its internal market to the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are parties to the EEA. Switzerland is a member of EFTA but does not take part in the EEA.  The EU and EEA partners (Norway and Iceland) are also linked by various `northern policies' and forums which focus on the rapidly evolving northern reaches of Europe and the Arctic region as a whole.


As an EFTA member, Switzerland took part in the negotiations for the EEA Agreement and signed the agreement on 2 May 1992. Immediately after that, the Swiss Government submitted an application for accession to the EU on 22 May 1992. However, following a referendum held on 6 December 1992 that yielded a vote against participating in the EEA, the Swiss Federal Council stopped pursuing the country's EU and EEA membership. Since then, Switzerland has developed its relations with the EU through bilateral agreements in order to safeguard its economic integration with the EU. Bilateral relations were severely strained following the February 2014 anti-immigration initiative [initiative approved by 50.3% to curb immigration - Oui], the outcome of which called into question the principles of free movement and the single market that underpin those relations. On 16 December 2016, the Swiss Parliament adopted the Law on Foreigners implementing the result of the 2014 referendum in a manner that limited its effect, which paved the way for the beginning of the normalisation of EU-Swiss relations. The law gives priority to Swiss residents in job recruitment in the sectors with above-average unemployment rates. The EU saw modifications to the Law on Foreigners as a step in the right direction and considered that this law could now be implemented in a way that would not restrict the rights of EU citizens under the free movement of persons.

Swiss Cabinet Opposes Move to Curb EU Immigration in Referendum | US News - Nov. 30, 2018 |

The Swiss government said it opposed curbing immigration from the European Union as proposed in a planned referendum because a yes vote could harm exports to the country's biggest trade partner. The 28-nation EU now insists its citizens be allowed to live and work freely in non-member Switzerland in exchange for enhanced Swiss access to the bloc's single market.

by Oui on Thu Jan 17th, 2019 at 02:55:18 PM EST
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