Commissioner Reding: EU Single Market Not Swiss Cheese
The European Union has said it will reassess ties with Switzerland after voters there backed plans to restrict migration from the EU.
The vote comes amid increasing debate across Europe about migration and the impact of free movement of people.
"The single market is not a Swiss cheese," Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and European commissioner for justice, told the Financial Times. "You cannot have a single market with holes in it. Business people will make their cost-benefit analysis and decide where to establish their companies."
It was one of Switzerland's closest votes in years and counting the ballots took an unexpectedly long time.
But in the end the "yeses" to immigration quotas just managed to outnumber the "nos".
The vote reflects the deep division in Switzerland over the impact of immigration. One in four people in the country are foreign and while business leaders say they need highly qualified workers from across Europe, Swiss voters are worried their country is becoming just too crowded.
Switzerland's system of direct democracy means that the people always have the final say.
After 50.3% of voters backed an initiative put forward by the ultraconservative Swiss People's party (SVP), the government will now have to extend a quota system in place for non-EU nationals to cover arrivals from the bloc.
After Switzerland made it clear it does not want to be part of the free movement of people any more, Brussels said it will examine the implications for EU-Swiss relations as a whole.
That means that all Switzerland's other treaties with the EU are at risk, including its access to the crucial single market, where half of all EU exports are sold.
Reporters say some Swiss are already wondering whether the long-term consequences of rejecting the free movement are worse than those of accepting it.
- » PM Borisov: We have in Fact Fulfilled the Numerical Criteria for Entering the Currency II Mechanism
- » The Chief Negotiator on Behalf of the EU for Brexit Comes to Bulgaria
- » Strengthen the System of Protection of Migrants and Refugees in Bulgaria
- » The Bulgarian Euro-Presidency Disappoints the Young People from the EU
- » New Study of Food in Bulgaria and in Western Europe: Double Standards of Quality and Price
- » Bulgarian Dance "Horo" in the Center of Brussels
So if the EU don't like the democratic decision of the Swiss people they bully them by threats concerning the free market. No doubt wanting them to vote again. I hope this is the first of many to stand up to these unelected dictators in Brussels. The sooner the Undemocratic EU is disbanded and the elite get their noses rubbed in the trough the better for us all in Europe.