The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg initiated—in the capacity of the Czech V4 Presidency—meeting with his Visegrad partners in Brussels. The Ministers jointly prepared a Statement of the V4 countries on the decision of the Swiss government to re-establish limitations on free movement of citizens from some EU member countries.
We express our deep regret at the Swiss government’s decision. It undermines Switzerland’s traditional stance as an open and friendly country.
We deplore this measure firstly because the Swiss authorities differentiate among EU Member States by singling out selected countries—even though some of our states did not fulfil migrant worker quotas—and, secondly, because we see this as a purely political decision, with our countries representing only 10% of the EU migrant workers in Switzerland.
Thirdly, we are convinced that at a time of crisis, we must strengthen—and not weaken—European economic freedoms. Indeed, many Swiss companies profit from the common market and are active in our respective countries with their 65 million consumers.
Moreover, we note the firm position of High Representative Cathy Ashton as reflected in her statement that this measure is in breach of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons as amended by the Protocol of 2004.
We trust that in the light of these arguments the Swiss government will reconsider its decision soon.
Brussels, April 19, 2012
Source: MFA Czech Republic