Switzerland to limit immigration from all EU states
The Swiss government is to limit immigration from all EU states from May for a period of one year, in a move criticised by Brussels.
Immigration caps on eight central and eastern states will be extended to 17 other EU states. Bulgarian and Romanian migration is curbed separately.
Though not an EU member itself, Switzerland signed up to the bloc’s rules on freedom of movement.
Brussels criticised the decision to impose the new new quotas.
There is concern in Switzerland about a growing influx of workers from poorer EU members.
When it signed up to the freedom of movement rules in 1999, the country claimed the right enact a “safeguard clause” if the annual influx of workers from countries exceeded a certain number.
From mid-2014 the clause becomes invalid, so the quotas can in theory only last for 12 months but Switzerland is due to hold two referendums aimed at limiting immigration.