The Swiss will soon vote on a referendum that could dramatically change the future relations between Switzerland and the EU;
Known as the Limitation Initiative, the referendum aims to end Switzerland’s free movement of people agreement with the European Union. Without it, Swiss businesses won’t have direct access to the European market and it will be much harder to recruit EU workers.
On 27 September, Swiss nationals will be called to vote on a referendum which aims to scrap the existing freedom of movement agreement with the EU.
The initiative was put forward by the Swiss People’s Party in August 2018 and was originally planned for 17 May 2020, but was pushed to September 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, EU citizens are allowed to live, work and study in Switzerland and Swiss citizens can do the same in the EU. The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) is one of seven bilateral agreements between the EU and Switzerland. These are known as the Bilaterals I. If the AFMP is terminated as a result of Septembers’ vote, the other six agreements would automatically cease to apply.
Numerous political parties and Swiss organisations have already rejected the Limitation Initiative from left to right, including the Swiss Socialist Party, the FDP.The Liberals as well as UNIA and EconomieSuisse.
If the proposal were accepted, it would mean the end of Switzerland’s free movement of people agreement with the European Union.
In response to the upcoming vote, tech startup Monito has joined in rejecting the upcoming referendum and has stated the importance of being able to count on EU workers.
As a leading global portal for money transfers, Monito firmly believes that the free movement of people forms an integral part of our mission. By sharing high-level insights on the movement of money across borders, we strive to help our users to explore their options and make better decisions when transferring money abroad, thereby helping to create a smaller, savvier, and smarter world.
“Most people using Monito have moved to a new country for a period of their life,” explains Pascal Briod, co-founder and Head of Product at Monito . “We feel the need to speak up in favor of the free movement of people with the EU, because we witness every day the positive impact our users have both in the country they live in and in the country they are from.”
“I have colleagues from 14 different nationalities, and overall, half of our staff comes from the EU,” he adds. “Free movement of people is essential for a rapidly growing startup like Monito to be able to stay in Switzerland, as we rely on it to access a large and highly qualified pool of talent across the continent“.