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Limiting Effect

In a referendum earlier this week, the Swiss voted narrowly to limit immigration into Switzerland by setting quotas, a move that may affect research in the country, ScienceInsider says.

Just over half of voters — 50.3 percent — approved the referendum to halt "mass immigration," ScienceInsider notes. The Swiss Federal Council has three years to implement the quotas, though the government notes that the text of the referendum didn't say how high the quotas should be or what criteria should be used to establish them, according to a statement from the council.

ScienceInsider adds that limits on migration to Switzerland may affect the ability of companies and research institutions there to bring in foreign staff and keep the country at the forefront of global R&D.

Quotas "could make the future recruitment of researchers and their family members from EU countries more burdensome for our company members,” Beat Moser, director general of scienceindustries, an association of chemistry, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies, tells ScienceInsider.

About 45 percent of the 67,000 people that the scienceindustries member companies employ are from abroad, ScienceInsider notes.

The full effect, adds labor economist Yves Flückiger, from the University of Geneva, will rely on how those quotas are set and implemented.