On 19 September, 2017, National Councillor and Swiss Abroad, Tim Guldimann (SP/ZH), together with 70 co-signatories, submitted a motion obliging the Federal Council to inform in the event that a draft law or a proposed amendment affects Swiss citizens abroad. This would allow deliberating such effects at an early stage in parliament.
It is often the case that individual aspects of a new law or amendment affect the interests of Swiss Abroad, without such affects being recognised at the start of the parliamentary decision-making process and discussed according to their significance. It is difficult in such cases to highlight the concerns of the Swiss Abroad at an early stage in view of the preparatory deliberations of the relevant commissions.
An explicit reference to these effects would make it much easier for the Organisation of the Swiss abroad (OSA), which is charged with the defence of the interests of the Swiss Abroad, to fulfil this statutory mandate throughout the parliamentary decision-making process.
The Parliamentary Act already provides for an information obligation on various effects of planned decrees. The motion submitted by Tim Guldimann in a broadly supported political framework is aimed at including the effects such decrees might have on Swiss citizens living abroad. This additional obligation would result in only minimal administrative work and cost.