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Centralized access to the European market | Neuchâtel: a tradition of diversity and multiculturalism | Bilateral agreements with the EU for the Free Movement of Persons and Goods | Useful links


Centralized access to the European market


In the heart of Europe, and a neighbour to Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Lichtenstein, Switzerland has long cultivated a climate of international exchange. The country’s position at the crossroads of major transport arteries provides unique access to the 490 million customers within the European Union (EU). In addition, the canton’s optimal time zone enables productive working relationships with Asia in the morning and the United States in the afternoon.



Neuchâtel: a tradition of diversity and multiculturalism


In the State of Neuchâtel, thanks to its status as a border state with neighbouring France, 23% of the population are non-Swiss nationals, 86% of whom are from the EU. The "Agreement for the Free Movement of Persons" signed between Switzerland and the EU has encouraged development and Neuchâtel citizens have demonstrated their openness to other cultures by offering non-Swiss nationals the right to vote, as well as eligibility for election at communal level.

French is the official language of the canton although English is frequently used within the workplace, due in part to the presence of numerous international companies and the quality of the Swiss education system. German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish are also spoken by a large proportion of the population.



Bilateral agreements with the EU for the Free Movement of Persons and Goods

Thanks to bilateral agreements signed in 1999 with the European Union, Switzerland benefits from all the advantages of free trade agreements whilst maintaining legal and financial independence.


The charter for the free movement of persons promotes an influx of highly qualified foreign workers and encourages a cosmopolitan environment conducive to business relations and exchanges with international markets. Agreements on the free movement of goods not only enabled access to a European market but marked an end to quotas and restrictions at customs. This represents a considerable advantage for Neuchatel which has a strong export tradition, and which will almost certainly increase the region’s growth and competitive position.



Useful links

Free movement of persons


Free Trade Agreements

Population of foreigners in Switzerland

Immigration service​ (Neuchâtel County, in French)