French workers asked to reveal what they think of Switzerland

French workers asked to reveal what they think of Switzerland
GEORGES GOBET/AFP
What will the French make of their working lives in Switzerland?

Nearly 135,000 French nationals work permanently in Switzerland, constituting the second-largest group of foreigners, behind the Germans, employed in the country.

Additionally, 85,100 workers commute to their Swiss jobs each day from France.They work in Switzerland because wages are higher here than in their home country.

French citizens, like nationals of other European Union countries, are able work in Swiss companies thanks to an agreement with Brussels, which allows the free movement of people between Switzerland and the EU.

However, not much is known about their working environment or the experiences and challenges they face in their daily work lives.

A new research project launched jointly by the universities of Bern and Strasbourg aims to fill this gap.

The two teams created a survey to find out  what French employees think about their professional life and relationships with co-workers in a Swiss workplace.

Swiss people who are working with French colleagues are also invited to participate in the survey.

A summary of the main results will be sent to all participants when the project is finished.

The results of the survey will be eagerly awaited, given French opinions on Switzerland have been known to cause a rumpus in the past.
 
In 2016 French journalist Marie Maurisse caused a storm when she published her book titled “Bienvenue au paradis! Enquête sur la vie des Français en Suisse” (“Welcome to Paradise. Investigation of French Lives in Switzerland”).
 
Maurisse said in an interview that she experienced anti-French feelings when she arrived in Switzerland in 2009. “It was precisely at that time that I settled in the canton of Vaud and experienced the rejection on the part of the Swiss”.
 
“When French immigrants come to Switzerland they believe they are arriving on familiar ground. This is wrong because the culture between the two countries is very different”, she added.

Michel Charrat, president of Groupement Transfrontalier Européen, an association representing French cross-border workers, praised Switzerland’s economy, which makes it possible for employees from France to earn good wages.

He said, however, that over the past 10 years “the rise of populism in Geneva has somewhat strained relations” between the local population and French workers. 

But in an interview with Swissinfo, Charrat noted that “it’s mainly the populist parties that launch these kinds of campaigns. Most people in Geneva don’t share these opinions”. 

READ MORE: Why Switzerland is still ranked top of the league for skilled workers 

 

 


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