The outstanding relationship between Switzerland and Liechtenstein has been praised highly by Swiss Federal Council member Didier Burkhalter, who was a speaker at the Entrepreneur Day for Liechtenstein, the Rhine Valley and Vorarlberg.
In his speech at the event, Didier Burkhalter passionately conveyed how the world would be a better place if all neighbourly relations were as positive as those between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The border along the Rhine brings the two countries together more than it divides them, said Burkhalter. They confront challenges pragmatically and work together to pursue shared objectives. For example, both countries received certification from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2015 as a result of their common interpretation of customs agreements.
Burkhalter also drew particular attention to the matter of cross-border commuters. Around 400 individuals from Liechtenstein work in Switzerland and roughly 10,000 people working in Liechtenstein live in Switzerland, of which a large proportion are EU citizens. The Federal Council member further stated that it is in the common interest for the freedom of movement issue to be resolved. In order to manage immigration, Switzerland intends to apply a safeguard clause that would introduce measures in the event of serious economic and social difficulties. The respective consequences would also have an impact on cross-border commuters, especially as quotas would certainly play an important role.
Switzerland will continue to nurture this special relationship in the future, with Swiss representatives abroad also supporting the Liechtensteiner export economy. According to Burkhalter, the aim is always to innovate in a way that is mutually beneficial.