Switzerland has decision-shaping rights in regard to further developments of the Schengen acquis. This is significant because decisions are generally taken by consensus. It means that Switzerland can participate in shaping such developments and defend its interests directly in expert discussions or at ambassadorial or ministerial-level meetings.
Every time the EU passes a new legal act of relevance to the Schengen/Dublin acquis, Switzerland must decide, in accordance with Swiss parliamentary and direct democratic processes, whether it intends to adopt it. Since the signing of the agreements on 26 October 2004, the EU has notified Switzerland of 240 further developments of the Schengen acquis. In the majority of cases, the content is of a technical nature or limited in scope and so the Federal Council can directly approve or take note of them. This leaves only around 35 legislative developments requiring parliamentary approval.
If any one of these is not implemented in Swiss law, the two agreements between Switzerland and the Schengen and Dublin states will cease to apply – unless the joint committee decides otherwise within 90 days. The joint committee comprises representatives of Switzerland, the European Commission and all EU member states. Any decision to uphold the agreements would have to be unanimous. To date, these contractual provisions have never been applied.
The following legislative developments are currently at the parliamentary approval stage. The ongoing and completed consultations and the respective Federal Council dispatches in relation to Schengen/Dublin are available online.