As an immediate response to liquidity shortages caused by the pandemic, the Federal Council had adopted on 25 March 2020 an emergency ordinance allowing SMEs to apply for and obtain so-called COVID-19 credits in a speedy, non-bureaucratic procedure until 31 July 2020. Given its extraordinary nature, the ordinance stayed in force until 25 September 2020. In order to address all aspects of the COVID-19 credits over their entire lifespan/term, there was a need to legislate and incorporate the main procedural provisions of the former emergency ordinance into a formal federal act: the Federal Act on COVID-19 Credits with Joint and Several Guarantee (the “COVID-19 Credit Act”) entered into force on 19 December 2020.
Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (“FMPA”) between Switzerland and the EU no longer applies to UK nationals. This means that since 1 January 2021 UK nationals have the status of third-country citizens (non-EU/EFTA citizens) and as a result, UK nationals who wish to live and to take up employment in Switzerland are subject to the stricter admission requirements under the Foreign Nationals and Integration Act (“FNIA”).
Right at the end of 2020, the European Commission published its much-awaited digital regulation proposal – the proposal for the Digital Services Act (“DSA”) and the proposal for the Digital Market Act (“DMA”). The new proposal is intended to modernise the EU E-Commerce Directive, which has been in force for over 20 years. If adopted, the proposal will likely have a wide-ranging impact on digital service providers. Find out what to expect in our summary below and have your voice heard by providing feedback to the European Commission on both the DSA and the DMA by the 15 February 2021.
With the Brexit transition period having ended on 31 December 2020, the United Kingdom’s powers to grant equivalence to foreign stock markets came into force. As a result, the United Kingdom has approved a regulation which recognises Switzerland’s legal and supervisory framework for stock exchanges as equivalent. The regulation will come into effect on 3 February 2021.
The 2007 Lugano Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters governs the jurisdiction and reciprocal enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between the member states of the European Union (EU) and three countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). The Lugano Convention is in essence the equivalent of the 2001 Brussels I Regulation which applies between EU member states only.