Nicola Del Medico, 8 October 2015
The flow of refugees to the shores and borders of the EU member states is putting to the test their ability to show solidarity and protect the rights of thousands of human beings. This challenge recently made its way on the UN agenda, and it is growing in relevance also within the G20, which does not formally deal with peace and security and maintains an economic and financial focus.
On 16-21 August 2015, the Syrian refugee crisis was discussed by the G20 Youth Summit (the so-called Y20) on the initiative of the Turkish presidency, which is particularly sensitive to an emergency that is impacting heavily not just on European countries but also on Syria’s neighbours, including Turkey. Continue reading
Phedon Nicolaides and Roxana Sandu, 12 February 2014
Source: BBC, 2014
On Sunday, 9 February 2014, the Swiss people voted in favour of re-introducing restrictions on the free movement of workers between the European Union and Switzerland.The reaction of the EU was swift. On Monday, 10 February, the European Commission issued a short but terse press communiqué. “The European Commission regrets that an initiative for the introduction of quantitative limits to immigration has been passed by this vote. This goes against the principle of free movement of persons between the EU and Switzerland. The EU will examine the implications of this initiative on EU-Swiss relations as a whole. In this context, the Federal Council’s position on the result will also be taken into account.”
On the same day, the Financial Times reported that “Viviane Reding, European Commission Vice-President, suggested that Swiss companies could face limits on their access to the European single market if the country pressed ahead with the new quotas.” “The single market is not a Swiss cheese”, she told the Financial Times. “You cannot have a single market with holes in it. Business people will make their cost-benefit analysis and decide where to establish their companies.” Continue reading
Phedon Nicolaides, 2 December 2013
On 27 November, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, wrote an article in the Financial Times arguing in favour of restrictions on the right of persons to move freely in the European Union. Next day the Financial Times reported that Germany and France were also concerned about the imminent lifting of restrictions on the movement of Bulgarians and Romanians. When Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU in 2007, several Member States requested transitional derogations from the principle of free movement of persons and workers. These derogations are due to expire on 1 January 2014.