Voters in Switzerland rejected a proposal Sunday to end the freedom of movement agreement with the European Union and limit immigration from the bloc.
The measure was rejected by 61.7 percent of voters, with 38.3 percent voting in favour, according to provisonal official reports.
«Especially at this time, during the difficult economic situation caused by the corona crisis, good relations with our neighbors and with the EU are important,» said Swiss Federal Council member Karin Keller-Sutter as she welcomed the vote's result during a press conference in Bern.
Keller-Sutter said Bern would keep seeking a «bilateral path» with the EU.
«Freedom of movement doesn't just have benefits,» Keller-Sutter added. «That's why the Federal Council only wants as much immigration as necessary. That continues to be our goal.»
The vote was initiated by the right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) who believe Switzerland should be allowed to decide itself how many foreign workers are allowed into the country.
Although the ballot was planned for May it was delayed until September due to COVID-19 pandemic.