24-02-2014 - Bern (CH)

Prof. Cottier on "Causes and Costs of Swiss Protectionism in Migration"

24 Feb 2014, 12:30 - 13:30, Silva Casa Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern

The Causes & Costs of Swiss Protectionism in Migration

Brown Bag lecture by Thomas Cottier, Managing Director of the World Trade Institute and the Institute of European and International Economic Law, Professor of European and International Economic Law at the University of Bern, and president of ELEC Switzerland.

In the wake of the vote of February 9th, 2014 on the constitutional initiative "Against Mass Immigration" adopted by a very tight margin and written into Art. 121a of the Federal Constitution, Thomas Cottier expounded the multiple causes and costs of the new provision. The focus was on the implications of Swiss EU relations as the provision is incompatible with existing obligations under the Agreement on Free Movement of Persons of 1999. The main thesis of the talk was that negotiations with the EU should proceed internal reform efforts within the next three years, and that the provisions can only be implemented to the extent rendered compatible with treaty law in order to avoid a threat to existing  bilateral agreements vital to the Swiss economy.  



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