Under its Bilateral Treaty on Free Movement with the European Union, in June 2007 Switzerland lifted its quota rules. Since then, nationals of 17 EU member states have enjoyed the right to reside and work in Switzerland. Despite the fact that the criteria for the reimposition of restrictions were recently met, the federal government has decided not to invoke the protection clause.
The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council has agreed that Switzerland will become part of the Schengen Area. Passport controls between Switzerland and its neighbouring Schengen states will be abolished from today. Passport controls between Switzerland and Liechtenstein will be tightened, as the border between the two countries will now become an external border of the Schengen Area.
From October 2003 visitors travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme must have machine-readable passports. Switzerland has responded by issuing 2,000 new passports daily, with the production line running 24 hours a day. It is also negotiating with the United States on the exchange of personal data of incoming flight passengers in the fight against terrorism.