Swiss voters’ Yes to the mass immigration initiative has created a great deal of uncertainty for Switzerland. A new article in the constitution based on a narrow interpretation of the initiative would be tantamount to abandoning the free movement of persons. This would probably mean renegotiating the entire package of bilateral accords with the EU, with a completely unpredictable outcome.
Avenir Suisse advocates an open Switzerland with as little regulation as possible. For this reason, back at the end of February the think tank presented a proposal for a solution designed to control and curb immigration as desired by voters while still preserving the free movement of persons. It would involve setting a ten-year overall target.
In the latest issue of «avenir standpunkte», project leader Patrik Schellenbauer explains in detail how this overall target could be implemented. To successfully curb immigration, everyone involved would have to act in concert. The federal and cantonal governments would have to do without tax breaks for businesses moving to their jurisdictions. For their part, companies and trade associations would have to make more restrained use of the free movement of labour, and harness the potential of the domestic labour pool more effectively. If, despite this, it emerged after five years that the targets had not been met, «live» quotas would automatically be applied. But until that time, the Swiss economy would have the chance to show that it could implement the initiative without compulsory measures or unnecessary bureaucracy.