Free movement of persons

The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) is already part of the Bilaterals I package of 1999. It regulates the reciprocal right of Swiss nationals and nationals of EU member states to freely choose their place of work and residence within the territories of the contracting states parties. As part of the package approach, two aspects of the free movement of persons are being negotiated separately: wage protection and the Citizens' Rights Directive.

Switzerland has not adopted the Citizens' Rights Directive (CRD) to date. As part of the further development of the bilateral approach, the EU wants Switzerland to adopt the CRD within the framework of the AFMP. During the exploratory talks, it was possible to obtain a concession from the EU that Swiss specificities will be taken into account if Switzerland agrees to adopt the CRD.

It is therefore crucial for the Federal Council that, first, the consequences of such an adoption for the Swiss social system are limited, second, the provisions of the Federal Constitution on expulsion under criminal law (expulsion initiative) are complied with and, third, the level of Swiss wage protection is maintained (see also factsheet on wage protection).

The Swiss–EU discussions on wage protection concern posted workers i.e. people sent to work in Switzerland on a temporary basis by their employer who is based in an EU member state.

If Switzerland accepts the dynamic adoption of legislation (see factsheet on institutional elements), a three-stage safeguarding mechanism will be imposed to ensure wage protection. First, it contains the safeguarding of two principles: ‘the same pay for the same work in the same place’ and Switzerland's dual enforcement system. Second, a number of exceptions will apply to Switzerland. Third, Switzerland is to be granted a non-regression clause so that it does not have to adopt future developments in EU law that would weaken the level of protection for posted workers.

Immigration – Citizens' Rights Directive (CRD) (PDF, 2 Pages, 314.0 kB, English)

Factsheet: Wage protection (PDF, 2 Pages, 241.4 kB, English)