- For the 15 "old" EU states (EU 15) together with Malta and Cyprus, full free movement of persons has applied since 1 June 2007; the 8 States (EU-8) that joined the EU in 2004 have been enjoying full free movement of persons since 1 May 2011.
- Up until 31 May 2014, the safeguard clause can be applied for these EU-25 States. As of 1st May 2012, the safeguard clause was applied for at least one year to citizens of the EU-8 States regarding B-Permits. On 24 April 2013, the Swiss Federal Council decided to extend the safeguard clause for the EU-8 Member States with effect as of 1 May 2013 for one further year. In addition, the Federal Council decided to invoke the safeguard clause for the other 17 EU-Member States (excluding Bulgaria and Romania, as those states are subject to different transitional provisions) for one year, should the number of resident permits reach the necessary limit.
- For Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, the transitional period can run up to 31 May 2016 at the latest. The safeguard clause's application to Bulgaria and Romania can be invoked until 31 May 2019.
The Agreement on the free movement of persons, which was accepted in Switzerland in a referendum in 2000, entered into force in 1 June 2002. The extension of the Agreement to the ten states that joined the EU in 2004 was approved by the Swiss electorate in 2005 and entered into force on 1 April 2006 (in the form of Protocol 1 to the Agreement). The extension to Bulgaria and Romania was accepted by the people on 8 February 2009 and came into effect on 1 June 2009 (in the form of Protocol II to the Agreement). Negotiations about extending the Agreement to Croatia will be started soon.
With the introduction of the free movement of persons, flanking measures were introduced on 1 June 2004 to protect employed people against unfair undercutting of their wages and working conditions existing in Switzerland. With the extension of the free movement of persons to the states that joined the EU in 2004, the implementation of these measures and their effectiveness have been strengthened and, as a result, employee protection too. The tougher measures came into force (together with Protocol I) on 1 April 2006. With the extension to Bulgaria and Romania, the flanking measures were further improved. The latest amendments to the flanking measures came into effect in January 2013.
- Date of signing: 21 June 1999 (in the framework of Bilateral Agreements I)
- Approval by the electorate: 21 May 2000 (67.2 % in favour)
- Date effective: 1 June 2002
- Signing of FMP Protocol I (for countries that joined the EU in 2004): 26 October 2004
- Approval of Protocol I by the electorate: 25 September 2005 (56 % in favour)
- Entry into effect of Protocol I: 1 April 2006
- Signing of the FMP Protocol II (extension to Bulgaria and Romania): 27 May 2008
- Approval by Parliament of continuation of the Agreement and of Protocol II: 13 June 2008.
- Approval by the electorate: 8 February 2009 (59.6% in favour).
- Entry into effect of Protocol II: 1 June 2009
- End of labour market restrictions vis-à-vis the EU-8: 1 May 2011
- Invocation, on 18 April 2012, of the Safeguard Clause with respect to the EU-8 Member States
Invocation of the safeguard clause for the EU-8 Member States with effect as of 1 May 2013 for one further year: 24 April 2013
Invocation of the safeguard clause for the other 17 EU-Member States for one year, should the number of resident permits reach the necessary limit: 24 April 2013
Status: April 2013