Launch of campaign on the expulsion initiative and counterproposal

Popular vote of 28 November 2010

Keywords: Crime | Repatriation

Press Release, FDJP, 04.10.2010

Bern. At a joint press conference held in Bern today, the head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, and representatives from the cantons launched the campaign on the expulsion initiative and the counterproposal put forward by parliament. The Federal Council and parliament reject the initiative and favour the adoption of the counterproposal. In contrast to the initiative, the counterproposal covers all serious criminal offences and can be implemented without difficulty.

Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, accompanied by Charles Juillard (President of the Cantonal Council of canton Jura), Karin Keller-Sutter (member of the St. Gallen Cantonal Council) and Esther Waeber-Kalbermatten (member of the Valais Cantonal Council) informed the media about the ‘popular initiative on the expulsion of foreign criminals’ (expulsion initiative) and parliament's counterproposal. The expulsion initiative calls for the automatic revocation of the right of residence for foreign nationals convicted of certain criminal offences and benefit fraud, regardless of the seriousness of the offence.

Binding rules for the revocation of the right of residence

The proportion of convicted foreign nationals is undeniably higher than that of convicted Swiss nationals. Therefore, both the initiative and the counterproposal offer legally binding rules for revoking the right of residence of criminal foreign nationals. While the counterproposal goes in the same direction as the initiative, the former is clearer and more comprehensive. In contrast to the initiative, it is the seriousness of the offence that is the decisive factor in determining whether the right of residence is revoked and not a limited catalogue of criminal offences.

In addition, the counterproposal contains provisions regarding the integration of the foreign population. The Federal Council believes that integration should be encouraged and required as successful integration is just as important in preventing and combating crime as repressive measures. A further consideration should the counterproposal be adopted is that the implementation of its provisions would be smooth as they comply – unlike those of the initiative – with the Federal Constitution and international law. Talking to the media, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf emphasised that the Federal Council considers it necessary to come up with a solution that addresses the real issues and avoids the difficulties in terms of implementation that will arise if the expulsion initiative were to be adopted.

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