EU-Swiss relations under fire  

The issue of how Switzerland’s 9 February referendum vote to curb immigration from EU countries will affect its relations with the EU will be debated by political group leaders on Wednesday morning. The majority in favour was 50.3%.

The Swiss government has three years to translate the outcome of the vote into specific measures. If it is not prepared unilaterally to break its cooperation agreements with the EU, then it will have to find a way to continue complying with the free movement rules laid down in the Schengen treaty.

Switzerland joined the Schengen area and did away with frontier checks at the end of 2008, further to a referendum held in June 2005.

Some 1.2 million EU citizens live in Switzerland and almost 270,000 more commute there each day to work. Some 430,000 Swiss nationals live in the EU (source: European Commission).

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February