Expulsion initiative adopted by majority of the people and the cantons

Keywords: Votes

Press Release, FDJP, 28.11.2010

Berne. The people and the cantons have today adopted the popular initiative on the expulsion of foreign criminals. In future, foreign nationals who have committed one of the criminal offences named in the text of the initiative should automatically lose their right of residence and be deported to their country of origin. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga will set to work on implementing the initiative without delay.

The majority of voters have sent a clear signal that they consider foreign criminality to be a serious problem. The Federal Council respects the will of the people and will set to work on putting the task confided in it into practice.

Even ahead of the vote the Federal Council indicated that the adoption of the initiative would raise a number of questions with regard to its implementation. It is now the task of parliament to draft a list defining precisely which offences will result in deportation. Furthermore, the task will also be to make use of the scope in the legislative process to minimise conflicts with the constitution and international agreements or, if possible, implement the initiative in such a way that it complies with the constitution and international law.

Solution compatible with the constitution and international law

Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga will set up a working group before the Christmas break consisting of representatives of the initiative committee and the relevant federal and cantonal authorities. The working group will have the task of examining open questions and drafting a proposal as to how the initiative can be implemented, which the FDJP can subsequently put to the Federal Council. Ultimately it will fall to parliament to decide how the initiative is to be implemented in the form of a federal act. The Federal Council will also be counting on the sponsors of the initiative to keep the pledge they made before the vote to contribute constructively to producing a solution that is compatible with the constitution and international law.

In addition, the federal government, together with the cantons, will undertake further efforts to ensure the effective integration of foreign nationals in Switzerland – just as the Federal Council announced in the spring of this year. The legal basis for this already exists in the Foreign Nationals Act. “Foreign nationals make a significant contribution to economic, social and cultural life in Switzerland”, said Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga after the vote, “That is something that we should not forget particularly in light of the heated debates during this campaign.”

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