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Participation in the EU’s Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and MEDIA programmes

07.03.2014 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council has acknowledged the decision of the European Commission to suspend Switzerland’s association to the EU’s Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and MEDIA programmes and instead give Switzerland third-country status from 2014. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) have been asked to draw up interim solutions for the three programmes.

Cross-border Commuter Statistics in 4th quarter 2013 – Rise in number of cross-border commuters continues

03.03.2014 — Press release Europa

Neuchâtel, According to the Cross-border Commuter Statistics of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the number of foreign nationals crossing the border to work in Switzerland rose by 3.8% during 2013. More than half of the cross-border workforce lives in France (52.4%). Approximately a quarter lives in Italy (23.7%) and a fifth in Germany (20.5%). The cross-border workforce still tends to work in lower-skilled jobs.

State Secretary Jacques de Watteville's working visit in Bern with Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration

03.03.2014 — Press release Europa

Bern, Today in Bern, State Secretary Jacques de Watteville and the Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, met for a working visit. They discussed the status of the OECD project on corporate taxation (BEPS, base erosion and profit shifting) and the work on developing the global standard for the automatic exchange of information. The Swiss delegation also included the Director of the Federal Tax Administration, Adrian Hug.drian Hug.

Preisausgleich beim Handel mit landwirtschaftlichen Verarbeitungserzeugnissen: Aktualisierung der Referenzpreise per 1. März 2014

21.02.2014 — Press release Europa
Die Referenzpreise gemäss Protokoll Nr. 2 des Freihandelsabkommens Schweiz-EU von 1972 über bestimmte landwirtschaftliche Verarbeitungserzeugnisse werden per 1. März 2014 aktualisiert. Die Vertreter der Schweiz und der EU im Gemischten Ausschuss des Freihandelsabkommens haben am 13. Februar 2014 dem entsprechenden Beschluss zugestimmt. Der Bundesrat hat die Unterzeichnung des Beschlusses zur Anpassung der Referenzpreise am 12. Februar 2014 genehmigt. Parallel zu den Referenzpreisen zur EU werden jene zu Drittländern angepasst.

German Chancellor Merkel assures President of the Swiss Confederation Burkhalter that Germany will play a constructive part in the dialogue on EU policy

18.02.2014 — Europa
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Didier Burkhalter, informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel today about the outcome of the popular vote on the mass immigration initiative and the next steps to be taken by the Federal Council to implement the new constitutional provision on immigration. Ms Merkel assured Mr Burkhalter that Germany would play a constructive part in the aspects of the discussions that touch on EU policy. The meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier centred on the situation in Ukraine and the possible role of the OSCE, which is chaired by Switzerland in 2014, in defusing the crisis. Mr Burkhalter will travel from Berlin to Paris, where he will meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius this evening.

Change in immigration system: Yes to popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration

09.02.2014 — Press release Europa
The Swiss population has adopted a popular initiative aimed at stopping mass immigration. This brings with it a change of system in Switzerland’s immigration policy. The new constitutional provisions require that immigration be restricted by means of quantitative limits and quotas. The Federal Council will set to work on implementing these without delay.

Switzerland committed to international cooperation in research and innovation

14.01.2014 — Press release Europa
Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, gave a speech at the national conference in Bern to inaugurate the 8th European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020". In his speech, he stressed the great importance that international cooperation in research and innovation has for Switzerland. "International cooperation will continue to increase in response to major global challenges", explained Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann. The conference took place in the presence of EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation Ms Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who stressed that "Horizon 2020" will improve living standards in Europe and strengthen Europe's economy in the face of international competition.

Project organisation fleshes out third series of corporate tax reforms

19.12.2013 — Press release Europa

Bern, 19.12.2013 - The joint project organisation of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) and the Conference of Cantonal Finance Directors has further developed the tax and fiscal policy thrust of the next series of corporate tax reforms and evaluated various measures. The Federal Council has taken note of this and instructed the FDF to consult the cantons on this basis. The reforms should cause Switzerland to maintain its tax appeal, strengthen its ability to innovate and give a boost to the country as a business location. They are based on solutions that ensure legal certainty, are accepted internationally and are balanced from a fiscal policy viewpoint. Based on the results of the consultation and international developments, the Federal Council will decide how to proceed and instruct the Federal Department of Finance to prepare a consultation draft.

Zuwanderung: Effekte der Standortförderung gering und überwiegend im ländlichen Raum

19.12.2013 — Press release Europa
Der Bericht "Standortförderung und Zuwanderung" im Auftrag des Staatssekretariats für Wirtschaft (SECO) analysiert die Wirkungszusammenhänge zwischen den Standortförderungsmassnahmen des Bundes und der Zuwanderung. Die Studie von Ecoplan untersucht insbesondere die Standortpromotion, Steuererleichterungen im Rahmen der Regionalpolitik und die Förderung der Beherbergungswirtschaft. In dem die Standortförderung zum Erhalt und zur Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen beiträgt, wird auch eine leicht erhöhte Zuwanderung von rund vier Prozent ausgelöst. Rund drei Viertel des Zuwanderungseffektes entfallen auf ländliche oder strukturschwache Gebiete abseits der Ballungszentren. Weiter kommt die Studie zum Schluss, dass geförderte Unternehmen ihr Personal nicht wesentlich stärker im Ausland rekrutieren als übrige Unternehmen.

Federal Council recommends rejection of the "Stop mass immigration" Initiative

25.11.2013 — Press release Europa

Bern, The Federal Council recommends the rejection of the "Stop mass immigration” Initiative, which is being put to a popular vote on 9 February 2014. The initiative calls for quotas for all foreign nationals. This would be a reversal of the current proven system of admission and would make it difficult for businesses to recruit the staff they require from abroad. Furthermore, it would jeopardise the bilateral agreements and consequently relations with the European Union.

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