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← Overview Database of Innovative Social Policies in Europe

Activation of the safeguarding clause as made possible in the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons from EU/EFTA countries

Country of implementation
General short description of the innovation
Temporary restriction of the total number of B permits issued each year for active people arriving from the EU8, and since May 2013, also from EU17. The restriction applies for European nationals arriving in Switzerland with a working contract of at least one year or self-employed wishing to settle in Switzerland.
Target group
Policy Field
  • employment
Type of Policy
  • public
Duration of the policy
Activation in May 2012 for one year, prolonged for one additional year
Scope of innovation
  • Scope: temporary
  • Budgets: none
  • Number of intended beneficiaries: maximum quotas set to 2500 work permits delivered each year to migrants from EU-8, respectively 53000 to migrants from EU-17
  • Spatial coverage: national
General description of (intended) objectives and strategies
The general objective is to reduce the number of new migrants from the EU and minimize the negative effects of the Free Movement of People in terms of labour market competition, infrastructure and housing.
Nature of the innovation-short-term perspective
Type of innovation
  • new policy, practice or measure
New outputs
  • regulations of the labour market (maximum quotas for B work permits (delivered for a five-year time period))
Intended target group
EU new migrants, and Swiss workforce
Working age population
  • main source of income: paid work
Employers-private institutional actors
Private employers
Actors involved in policy-making/implementation and/or evaluation
  • central state
Intended output
  • regulation of the labour market (quotas set to work permits delivered to EU-nationals for a five-year time period (B work permits))
Did the innovation have any outcome related to job quantity?
the clause has effectively only minor impact on the Swiss labour market, as new migrants from the EU can continue to be hired on the basis of short-term work permits
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