Zovko, rapporteur of the European People’s Party for EU and Swiss Negotiations, secures a key amendment for the equal treatment of Croatian workers

Brussels, 21 February

European deputy Željana Zovko has had the pleasure to be a shadow rapporteur on the report regarding recommendations of the European Parliament to the Council, the Commission and the High representative on the Institutional Framework Agreement (IFA) between the EU and the Swiss Confederation, which was adopted in yesterday’s foreign affairs committee. This new IFA has been negotiated from 2014 until the end of last year and is highly welcomed by the European Member States. Unfortunately, Switzerland still has to ratify the conclusions of the negotiations. With this report, The European Parliament encourages the Swiss Federal Council to promote the agreed text.

As a shadow rapporteur, Ms. Zovko tabled several amendments to call upon Switzerland to consider shortening the period of application of the transitional measures concerning workers from Croatia. The Swiss recently decided to extend the initial period of two years, although the influx of Croatians in Switzerland stabilised already for a long time. Ms. Zovko clearly highlighted this issue during the compromise negotiations and successfully ensured the implementation of this position in the final report.

Another particular issue in the negotiations has been the so-called “flanking measures”. Switzerland introduced them in 2004 to protect their companies from wage dumping and unfair competition. These measures are however not in the line with the EU-Switzerland agreement on free movement of people. EU companies who want to provide a service in Switzerland need to declare it eight days in advance, and pay an extra fee. 37% of all EU companies are frequently controlled, vis-a-vis only 3 % of Swiss companies, despite the same level of violations. This is a clear example of disproportional treatment and the European Parliament regrets it.

After today’s vote in the foreign Affairs committee, the report will be taken to the second plenary session of March in Strasbourg for the final approval.

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