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Schengen cooperation facilitates travel across the borders of the Schengen member states by removing systematic passport controls at Schengen internal borders. At the same time internal security is ensured by means of extensive compensatory measures such as tighter border controls at Schengen's external borders, mobile controls within member states, strengthening cross-border police cooperation, facilitating mutual assistance in criminal matters, standardising visa policy and introducing measures to combat firearms and drugs trafficking. The Dublin Agreement establishes mechanisms to coordinate responsibility for asylum procedures throughout Europe. To meet new challenges and to continue improving security, cooperation between states participating in the Schengen and Dublin Areas is to be further enhanced within a clearly defined framework. Any further EU legal measures however can only be considered as further developments of the Schengen/Dublin acquis if they are directly linked to lifting border controls at the Schengen internal borders and to the above-mentioned compensatory measures.
Although Switzerland participates in the development of Schengen/Dublin law, it has no right to participate in decision-making. Switzerland retains the sovereign right to accept or reject any new Schengen/Dublin provisions or measures decided by the EU. Acceptance of new provisions or laws takes place in the form of an exchange of notes, which constitutes for Switzerland an agreement under international law. According to the Swiss constitution, the agreement must be approved either by the Federal Council or Parliament (depending on the content of the agreement). Decisions by Parliament are generally subject to an optional referendum. This measure ensures that Switzerland's system of direct democracy remains fully intact. If Switzerland rejects any new provisions or laws, the Agreement can be terminated.
Since the Agreement was signed on 26 October 2004, the EU has notified Switzerland of 152 developments (as at 6 December 2013), all to do with Schengen. This involves 14 legal developments which Parliament has to approve or has already approved. In terms of the Dublin agreement there are two developments until today.
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