Oct 3rd 2016

Switzerland in Europe: Money, Migration and Other Difficult Matters (FutureLearn)

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Learn about the position of Switzerland in Europe, in particular with respect to money, migration and other difficult matters. In times of economic uncertainty and increasing migration within Europe, the relationship between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) is severely tested. Located in the west of the European continent, Switzerland is a small but wealthy country, which is surprisingly not a member of the EU. Did you ever wonder what the reasons for this are? And have you ever thought about what legal conditions govern this exceptional relationship?

In this free online course, we will attempt to answer some key questions, including:

- What is the general place of Switzerland in the ‘legal (and political) landscape’ of Europe?

- What effect does the special situation of Switzerland have for the debate in other countries on issues such as taxation and migration?

Learn to distinguish fact from myth

This course offers a legal and political look at the position of Switzerland in Europe and its challenges as a non-Member State of the EU. We will put a particular focus on much debated and sometimes misunderstood issues such as corporate taxation, banking secrecy and the debate about curbing immigration. With this in mind, you will be able to reflect on Switzerland, the EU and regional integration on a differentiated basis.

Expand your knowledge through case studies

In addition to case studies on ‘money’ and ‘migration’, we will also discuss the present negotiations between Switzerland and the EU on the institutional framework of the Swiss-EU legal relationship. Studying the case of Switzerland from different angles will not only further your legal knowledge but also sharpen your awareness of the high degree of interconnectedness of countries in the modern world. After this course you should be able to apply your knowledge in other contexts - for example, when assessing news about regional integration in Europe or elsewhere.

Learning outcomes

- Reflect on the interconnectedness of states in the modern world.

- Describe the federal structure of Switzerland. .

- Debate corporate taxation and banking secrecy against the background of global and regional rules.

- Explore the interests involved in economic migration.

- Compare the legal concept of free movement of persons with national debates on curbing migration.

- Develop an opinion on the rules on persons seeking international protection.

- Summarise the present system of Swiss-EU agreements.

- Collect arguments ‘why Switzerland should or should not join the EU’.