Switzerland extends labor restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians

Romanian and Bulgarian workers will still have to cope with restrictions on the Swiss labor market from 1 January 2014 despite the EU countries being forced to lift them from Wednesday.

The labor liberalisation for the work force originating in Romania and Bulgaria will not enter into force as of January 2014 in Switzerland, which is not an EU member state, but a member of the European Free Trade Association and has signed several bilateral treaties with the bloc, which regulate, among others, free movement of people.

Swiss authorities can extend the labor restrictions until 2016 while the safeguard clause can be activated for another three years, until 2019. These measures were passed in 2009 following a popular vote.

Croatia, which joined the EU in July 2013, will have to wait for another five and seven years to fully enjoy the free movement of people, according to a project of the Federal Council submitted for debate in August, writes the Swiss publication Le Nouvelliste.

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