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Free movement of persons

The Bilateral Agreement on the free movement of persons (FMP) confers upon the citizens of Switzerland and of the member states of the European Union (EU) the right to freely choose their place of employment and residence within the national territories of the contracting states parties. This is conditional, however, on possession by the individuals concerned of a valid employment contract, being self-employed, or in the case of their not being in gainful employment, proof of financial independence and full health insurance coverage. The FMP provides for a phased introduction of the ground rules for free movement of persons between Switzerland and the EU. It lays down transitional periods during which immigration can be restricted.


  • 9.2.2014: acceptance of the "Against mass immigration" people's initiative
  • 24.4.2013: invocation of the safeguard clause against the 17 other EU member states for one year
  • 24.4.2013: prolongation of the safeguard clause against the EU-8 for one additional year
  • 18.4.2012: invocation of the safeguard clause against the EU-8
  • 1.5.2011: termination of the job market restrictions against the EU-8
  • 1.6.2009: FMP Protocol II enters into force
  • 8.2.2009: approval by the people (59.6% in favour)
  • 13.6.2008: approval of the continuation of the FMP and Protocol II by Parliament
  • 1.4.2006: FMP Protocol I enters into force
  • 25.9.2005: approval of FMP Protocol I by the electorate (56% in favour
  • 26.10.2004: signing of FMP Protocol I (for countries that joined the EU in 2004
  • 1.6.2002: entry into force
  • 21.5.2000: approval by the people (67.2%  in favour)
  • 21.6.1999: signing of the FMP agreement (in the framework of Bilateral Agreements I)

Status: February 2014


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