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Parliamentary questions
7 March 2014
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Cristiana Muscardini (ECR)

 Subject:  Swiss referendum and EU reactions

There is no doubt that the outcome of the recent Swiss referendum against free movement has created concern and fear in the border areas particularly affected: Ticino, Lombardy and Piedmont. The employment market is under stress and initial reactions from the EU give rise to fears of a political split under which everyone would be a loser. The refusal to allow Swiss students to take part in the Erasmus programme seems to me disproportionate and unfair in relation to the case in question. Punishing the younger generation in retaliation for the expression of popular will seems to me an arbitrary, unreasonable and asymmetric action. To make young people pay for the alleged ‘fault’ of an entire electoral body is a tendentious and inappropriate action. Why should the weakest segment of the population pay? Also, it must not be forgotten that in Ticino Canton there is a very high ratio of foreigners to nationals and the problems which arise from that are real and not imaginary or merely the fruit of a xenophobic culture. What is required now is a joint analysis (Switzerland, Italy, the EU) of the problem in order to identify solutions which will cause the least possible harm to either side, because I am afraid that reprisal initiatives which have not been sufficiently well evaluated can only cause harm. And indeed, in the areas bordering Italy there is no need for any further institutional harm, in addition to the problems which have always existed but have always been contained within tolerable limits.

1. Why does the Commission not propose a working group composed of representatives from Lombardy, Piedmont and Ticino, assisted by representatives of the Swiss Government and the EU, to conduct an in-depth analysis of the problems which have arisen, without resorting to arrogant and untenable ukase which always do more harm than good?

2. Does it consider that a concrete evaluation of the interests of the parties will assist in finding balanced and not asymmetrical solutions?

3. Does it consider that constructive dialogue, faced with divergent positions, is always a more appropriate means and more respectful of democracy than unilateral condemnation of universal suffrage?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 355, 08/10/2014
Last updated: 25 March 2014Legal notice