connect, grow & thrive.

The May 15. Referendums explained & the results

On Sunday May 15. 2022, Swiss voters are being asked to give their opinion of the following national referendums:

Wollen Sie die Änderung vom 1. Oktober 2021 des Bundesgesetzes über Filmproduktion und Filmkultur (Filmgesetz, FiG) annehmen? Do you want to adopt the amendment of 1 October 2021 to the Federal Act on Film Production and Film Culture (Film Act, FiA)?accepted by 58.4%

With the revised Film Act, domestic and foreign television broadcasters and streaming services are to be placed on an equal legal footing. The bill stipulates that streaming services such as Netflix and foreign television stations with Swiss advertising windows must invest part of the revenue they generate (4%) in Switzerland in domestic filmmaking. To do this, they can either invest directly in Swiss productions or pay a substitute levy that is used to support Swiss film. Streaming services should also be obliged to broadcast at least 30 per cent of series or films produced in Europe. Switzerland currently is one of the only countries with the EU/EFTA area to not have a substitute levy.

The government is asking people to vote in favour of this referendum.

Wollen Sie die Änderung vom 1.Oktober 2021 des Bundesgesetzes über die Transplantation von Organen, Geweben und Zellen (Transplantationsgesetz) annehmen? Do you want to accept the amendment of 1 October 2021 to the Federal Act on the Transplantation of Organs, Tissues and Cells (Transplantation Act)? – Accepted by 60.2%

In Switzerland, organ donation is currently governed by the so-called consent solution: a transplant is only possible if the deceased has consented to the donation during his or her lifetime. In order to increase the chances of patients receiving an organ, the Federal Council and Parliament want to reorganise organ donation. They propose a change of strategy: Those who do not want to donate their organs must make this clear. Relatives can refuse a transplant. If the relatives are not available for comment, no organs may be removed. According to the federal government, only people who die in hospital in intensive care are eligible for donation.

Those against this initiative find it unrealistic for everyone to be made aware that they have to actively write down that they do not want to donate their organs.

The government is asking people to vote in favour of this referendum.

Wollen Sie den den Bundesbeschluss vom 1. Oktober 2021 über die Genehmigung und die Umsetzung des Notenaustausches zwischen des Schweiz und der EU betreffen die Übernahme der Verdordnung über die Europäische Grenz- und Künstenwache und zur der Verordnung annehmen? – Do you wish to adopt the Federal Decree of 1 October 2021 on the approval and implementation of the exchange of notes between Switzerland and the EU concerning the adoption of the Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard and the Regulation?Accepted by 71.5%

Switzerland has been participating in Frontex since 2011. The migration crisis in 2015 showed that the financial and human resources of the border and coast guard are insufficient. The EU has therefore decided to expand Frontex and has already been implementing this reform since 2019. The Federal Council and Parliament have decided that Switzerland will participate in the expansion of Frontex.

With the reform, Switzerland will participate more strongly in Frontex in terms of personnel and material. The number of personnel deployed here will gradually increase: On average, Switzerland has contributed a good six full-time positions per year until 2021; depending on demand, this could probably be up to 40 by 2027. Switzerland’s financial contribution will also increase: from CHF 24 million in 2021 to an estimated CHF 61 million in 2027. The reform will also increase the size of the independent Fundamental Rights Unit. In future, 40 fundamental rights observers will supervise activities on the ground in order to identify any violations of fundamental rights.

Those against argue that Frontex is co-financed by Switzerland for sealing off Europe. The border management agency is repeatedly confronted with accusations of human rights violations and so-called “illegal pushbacks”.
As a non-EU state, Switzerland has limited voting rights in the design of Frontex, but pays a disproportionate share of the Frontex budget.

Those in favour argue that Frontex helps keep Switzerland safe by being part of a bigger alliance. Only as a participant can it have a voice in international security, and by saying no to this referendum, there is a risk that Switzerland will be kicked out of the Schengen agreement which would affect freedom of movement within Europe.

The government is asking people to vote in favour of this referendum.

Locally we have two motions to vote on.

Initiative “Reuss-Oase: Eine Freiraum für alle!”Reuss Oasis: a recreation area for all.Accepted by 56%

This initiative is asking the town council to look into ways of improving the attractiveness of the Reuss banks between the Spreuer Bridge and Nordpol. The Reuss should become a recreational area, a nature zone and offer ecofriendly spaces. The town council and parliament all voted in favour of this project as it will bring cohesion to several smaller initiatives put forward. They are asking the people to vote in favour.

Stimmen Sie der Änderung des Reglements für eine nachhaltige städtische Mobilität vom 29. April 2010 und dem Sonderkredit von 19.53 Mio. Franken für die zeitnahen Projektrealisierungen entsprechend dem Beschluss des Grosse Stadtrates vom 16. Dezember 2021 (gegenvorschlag zur zurückgezigenen Initiative “Luzerner Velonetz jetzt!”) zu? Do you agree to the amendment of the regulations for sustainable urban mobility of 29 April 2010 and the special credit of CHF 19.53 million for the timely realisation of projects in accordance with the resolution of the Great City Council of 16 December 2021 (counter-proposal to the recalled initiative “Luzerner Velonetz jetzt!”)?Accepted by 71%

In 2020 an initiative was put forward “Luzerner Velonetz jetzt!”. It called for a safe bike network within the city and surrounding region. It was turned down because it was too hard to implement, but it led to this counter proposal which calls for 27 kilometers of bike paths to be put into place. They would connect most parts of the city. The project will cost 19.53 million francs.

The town council and parliament voted in favour and are asking the people to accept the motion.

We will publish the results of the referendum on Sunday evening.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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