Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by really, Feb 10, 2014.
Perhaps you need more hyperbole.
Surely you havn't worked in research a lot. I only know the situation at a typical university or research institute but I guess 20-30% of the people who work at CERN at any time have no EU citizenship anyway. So people there usually have experience with immigration paperwork.
And now non-EU, non-Swiss employees have to double their immigration paperwork. There's a difference between experience and enjoying paperwork.
And that is how it will impact CERN: It will increase the bureaucratic headaches for everyone involved (except maybe those lucky people with dual Swiss/EU citizenship), but it will not threaten the operations in anyway. And if there is no legal way to move stuff from France to Switzerland, they have tunnels...
It will be interesting to see what will come out of this. The EU cannot afford to be soft on the issue and let the Swiss have their way, because that could endanger the whole European project. The Swiss voters have backed the Swiss government into a corner, but they do not want to use the nuclear option of terminating the quasi-membership status, so they really need concessions from the EU. I think in the end, the Swiss will get their limited immigration but will have to make big concessions in return (access to all bank data for EU authorities comes to mind)
The vote was not about stopping immigration - it was about maintaining the right to have quotas on immigration like other nations do. Like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and most of the non EU OECD.
It's got nothing to do with bloody minarets.
It will have no effect on CERN - highly qualified scientists will get visas within the quota system. I got a visa well before all this started. I'm not from the EU but my wife sort of is.
From the article:
The vote also stoked fears that Swiss citizens were reflecting the zeitgeist across Europe, where populists increasingly are seizing the spotlight with an anti-immigration political agenda.
Amid claims of an idyllic Swiss lifestyle being trampled by hordes of foreign newcomers, voters passed a referendum measure Sunday to curb Switzerlands open-borders treaty with the 28-nation E.U. bloc.
A famously neutral nation that signed a sweeping treaty with its neighbors in 1999, Switzerland is not a member of the E.U.
Yet the fear and loathing over immigration that drove the referendum can also be seen, increasingly, in E.U. countries across the region.
European Parliament elections in May, when anti-immigrant nationalists from France, Holland, Britain, Finland and elsewhere are expected to capture as many as one-third of the seats.
Immigration is the big theme of 2014 in Europe, said Mats Persson, director of Open Europe, a regional think tank that focuses on E.U. reform.
One of the big risks is that the European Parliament becomes quite polarized after the May elections, filled with federalists who want a closer union in Europe and nationalists who want exactly the opposite.
The British government recently rushed through legislation to restrict benefits for E.U. citizens who move to Britain from elsewhere.
Under the new laws, such migrants have to wait three months after arriving before they can apply for unemployment benefits.
The government also tightened up the test for migrants seeking benefits.
For instance, migrants are now questioned about their English-language skills.
In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkels government last week appointed a committee to look into ways to curb benefits tourism,
or the alleged practice of poor Eastern Europeans migrating to Germany for the sole purpose of tapping its generous social benefits.
Economic retribution, however, appeared to be a risk the Swiss were willing to take.
The Swiss Peoples Party sold the referendum measure as a needed step to preserve Swiss identity.
Party leaders argued that 80,000 E.U. citizens were setting up shop in the Alps each year, an influx of Italians, Portuguese and other European nationalities that,
they said, was changing the social fabric of Swiss cities, villages and towns.
You do realize that the EU has decided that people should also be able to freely move about between the various member countries, just as you can between states in the US? That Switzerland originally agreed to go along with this? That all this was even stated in the OP?
Furthermore, the European Commission is quite upset by this reversal:
And the change was championed by the usual suspects:
The "bloody minarets" was used an example of how intolerant many Swiss are to immigrants.
Not 'originally'. Switzerland came only 13 years ago. And one of the reasons this passed this weekend was that the estimates back then stated back then about how many would immigrate were much too low (like seven times too low...)
Furthermore, Switzerland had a special clause in it until this year that allowed it to set quotas. So the situation that there was unilmited immigration to Switzerland by EU nationals never existed until now.
Immigration wise this won't change much from the status quo. The initiative just states that Switzerland can set quotas, not how high those quotas are. It's unlikely that anybody (with the necessary influence) will call to lower the current number of immigrants in switzerland through this quota.
The dangerous thing about the vote doesn't really have anything to do with immigration at all but with politics and economics. It will dependend on how many, if any at all of the bilateral agreements will be kept in the future. EU diplomats already stated that all will fall with this vote, so it'll be 'interesting' to see how it goes from here.
I did not mean that Switzerland decided simultaneously with the EU to allow open relocation. I meant that they initially went along with it and just now changed their minds.
What you are stating also seems to disagree to a large extent with the article in the OP, which also doesn't mention anything about quotas. Is it not accurate? Do you know of an article that better describes this matter?
Well, yes, that's true..such things happen
As I mentioned part of it certainly has to do with false estimates back then. When the vote was held on the bilateral agreements talk was of roughly 10000 EU-Immigrants (net) per year. It turned out it was roughly 70000.
As warmonger already mentioned, the foreign press seems to kinda just forgets that little tidbit of information...
When signing the bilateral agreements Switzerland insisted on a 'safety clause' that allows Switzerland to set quotas if immigration exeeds a certain threshold. This 'safety clause' would have ended this year.
English language articles on the matter seem to be a bit hard to find, but this is what I found:
Seeing the EU being defeated is always a great pleasure. Well done Switzerland. I hope this may I'll have more pleasure and that this swiss thing it's only an appetizer.
My Swiss ex gf was incredibly sexy, far beyond me. What a bod, what a smile, not too smart, a truly great piece. We spent 6 glorious months together, it was...wonderful. Then she left for Switzerland. I hope the EU breaks them like she broke me.
Not that I care.
Fair enough - most of the EU 15 imposed restrictions on the Eastern Bloc when they joined (the UK and Ireland didn't) and afaik all of the EU 15 imposed restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians when they joined. All these restrictions have expired.
Would last weekend's vote make these restrictions permanent?
If so Switzerland would be out of step with the EU on one of the 'four freedoms' (freedom of movement for people, goods, capital and services), and would be out of step with what it negotiated with the EU.
The existence of a negotiated quota system in the past does not mean the EU should allow it to be made permanent.
I'm struggling to see how this is a defeat for the EU.
If anything I imagine it will make the EU wonder why it has been so generous to Switzerland in bending over backwards to negotiate bilateral treaties to replicate the EEA when the Swiss voted to not join the EEA.
To me it is more a case of biting the hand that feeds you.
But it's not the EU's choice, it's entirely Switzerland's decision. What the EU can do (and probably will) is hold the other treates in ransom.
I don't see it as a defeat for the EU either, but it does have some impact on them as it gives the EU critics within the EU some wind beneath their wings.
Let's face it, if similar votes were held in some of the EU member states, do you think the results would be so fundamentally different?
The whole 'biting the hand that feeds you' -argument is part of the reason why this vote went down the way it did. Those agreements were beneficial for both parties, yet the EU often made it sound as if they're only a favour done for Switzeland (and some right wingers here made it sound as if they're only beneficial for the EU). That didn't sit well with many of the more stubborn countrymen of mine
The main thing about this vote that apparently didn't get through to the voters is that these immigrants don't come to leech off us or anything the like but because there's jobs here that need to be filled. If it's not immigrants who do them, who then? Unemployment still is low and wasn't really affected by those treaties, so there's not many around who could fill those positions. So they'll have to still be filled with immigrants, which basically means that as far as immigration is concernend, nothing much will change at all, IMO.
The US is one country.
The EU is currently contains 28 countries.
You should be comparing free movement of people within NAFTA with the EU.
You should compare the movement between the US states with for example between the German states.
I agree it is Switzerland's decision and that the relationship was beneficial to both.
But if the outcome of the vote is reneging on a treaty it should not be ignored.
Such a vote would not be possible in the EU without putting your membership of the Union up for debate - much of the focus and reaction in the British media is because of this. There will be those who say that if Switzerland can do it why can't we?
I know the average Swiss voter isn't particularly concerned about the relative positions within the EU itself but equally the EU isn't concerned particularly about Switzerland. The EU is concerned about the UK.
I have avoided talking about David Cameron's proposed renegotiation / referendum with the EU but it is hard not to see Switzerland as a proxy of this debate. A focus on immigration that ignores existing agreements, practical benefits, the complexities of working with a union of 28 countries and the in UK's case that there are almost as many Britons living in the EU as there are Europeans in Britain
Cheap populism has won again somewhere. Nothing new here.
Yeah that's the more puzzling part. Unemployment in Switzerland is AFAIK under 3%, that is, they have a full-employment situation. How are immigrants doing any harm in this context?
And if Switzerland needs immigrants, I'm pretty sure absorbing the more culturally similar EU immigrants is cheaper than people from the rest of the world, who speak more different languages and may not even use the Latin alphabet.
What part of the EU wanting free movement between member countries the same way as states do in the US is so difficult to understand? That there really is no "union" at all if they continue to act like separate countries instead?
If the countries in North America decided to form their own similar union you would have a point. Even so, many people do think that NAFTA should work the same way despite no union. As it stands now, NAFTA provisions allow 64,000 Canadians and 9,000 Mexicans to work in the US.
Separate names with a comma.