Popular votes and chronology


When the Swiss voted against joining the European Economic Area (EEA) in the referendum of 1992 Switzerland decided to develop further relations with the European Union on a bilateral basis. Since then there have been a number of other popular votes on questions related to European policy.

  • 15.05.2022: Adoption of the EU Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex).
  • 27.09.2020: Popular initiative «For moderate immigration (Limitation Initiative)»
  • 19.05.2019: EU firearms directive
  • 30.11.2014: Popular initiative «Ecopop»
  • 09.02.2014: Popular initiative aimed at «Stopping mass immigration»
  • 17.05.2009: Acceptance of the Federal Act of 13 June 2008 about the introduction of electronically stored biometric data in the Swiss passport and in the travel documents for foreign individuals (development of the Schengen acquis)
  • 08.02.2009: Continuation of the agreement on the free movement of persons and its extension to Bulgaria and Romania
  • 26.11.2006: Federal Act on Cooperation with Eastern Europe
  • 25.09.2005: Extension of the agreement on the free movement of persons and the revision of the accompanying measures
  • 05.06.2005: Acceptance of the Schengen/Dublin association agreement
  • 04.03.2001: Popular initiative «Yes to Europe!»
  • 21.05.2000: Bilateral Agreements I between Switzerland and the European Union
  • 08.06.1997: Popular initiative «EU membership negotiations before the people!»
  • 06.12.1992: Accession of Switzerland to the European Economic Area


Relations between Switzerland and the rest of Europe have been developed steadily. The highlights of this development process are listed in chronological order in the following document:





On Monday, 18 March, President Viola Amherd and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen officially opened negotiations between Switzerland and the EU in the presence of the chief negotiators from both sides.

Press release, 18.03.2024


At its meeting on 8 March 2024, the Federal Council approved the negotiating mandate with the EU in its definitive form. The mandate adopted takes account of the results of the consultation with the foreign affairs committees (FACs) and other interested parliamentary committees, the cantons and the views of the social and economic partners.

Press release, 08.03.2024