Zovko successfully defends Croatian workers in EP report on EU-Swiss agreement

Strasbourg, 26 March

Today, the European Parliament adopted the report with its recommendations regarding the Institutional Framework agreement between the EU and the Swiss Confederation. Since 2014, Switzerland and the EU have been negotiating an agreement on institutional matters, aimed at ensuring a more uniform and efficient application of existing and future market access agreements.

As rapporteur for the EPP group, Željana Zovko was responsible to ensure the embedment of her party lines in the final text. Therefore, she intensely negotiated to find compromise agreements on complicated and sensitive topics, such as the Swiss flanking measures and the future cooperation of the EU and Switzerland in diverse issues.

During the negotiations, Ms Zovko strongly emphasised that the final text should include a reaction on the detrimental position of Switzerland towards Croatian workers. Under the country’s agreement on the free movement of persons with the European Union, Switzerland may impose a transition period before allowing members of young European Member States full access to its labour market. Recently Switzerland decided to extend this measure for Croatia, making Croatian workers the only EU citizens that are hindered on the Swiss labour market until 2021. Concrete, this policy includes that Croatians willing to work in Switzerland or reside for longer than 3 months are subject to strict work permit quotas.

Ms Zovko successfully implemented her proposal in the final report. Thanks to this achievement, the European Parliament calls upon Switzerland to consider shortening the period of application of the transitional measure. With this report of the Parliament and a similar statement of the Council, the European Union sends a clear message to the Swiss Confederation that it regrets the current situation and wants a better future for Croatian workers.

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