On July 1 2013 Croatia became the 28th member state of the European Union. However, Croatia's accession to the European Union has had no bearing on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union. In each case of enlargement of the European Union, the agreement must be amended first (additional protocol).
Agreement extended to Croatia
The extension of the agreement to Croatia was negotiated in a new Protocol III which was initialled in 2013. Protocol III provides for the free movement of persons after a transition period of 10 years. However, as a consequence of the popular initiative, which aims at stopping mass immigration (adopted by the Swiss electorate on February 9 2014), the Swiss government could no longer sign the already negotiated Protocol III. As such, the protocol would not be compliant with the new provision of the Swiss Constitution regarding mass immigration.
Unilateral preferential treatment
The admission of Croatian nationals to Switzerland is still governed by the Foreign Nationals Act. However, Switzerland grants unilaterally preferential treatment for Croatian nationals who want to come to Switzerland to work. As of July 1 2014, Croatian nationals will be subject to a separate quota system (separate from the quota system applicable for...