OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 12 June 2017 – Between today and 27 June, Swiss citizens living in Australia and Mexico are invited to elect their delegates to the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), the governing body of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). For those living in these two countries, the big innovation for the 2017 election will be the ability to vote online using the CHVote electronic voting system developed by the canton of Geneva. The Confederation recognises the CSA as the official body representing the Swiss abroad.
A destructive category 4 cyclone has hit North Queensland today (28 March). Debbie crossed the coast over the Whitsundays between Bowen and Proserpine, leaving behind a trail of devastation caused by torrential rain, floods and wind gusts of up to 230kmph.
Australia is one of only two countries taking part in an e-voting pilot program. The aim is to conduct the CSA elections in a more democratic way by giving all eligible Swiss in Australia the opportunity to elect their representatives.
Australian Football International has invited the Swiss Community to field a team at the 2017 Aussie Rules Harmony Cup in Melbourne on Sunday, 2 April.
Around 97,000 Swiss-based voters and 57,000 Swiss abroad will be able to use e-voting in the next nationwide vote on February 12, 2017. The government has approved five cantonal applications to trial e-voting for a further two years.
Portraits of four young engaged Swiss abroad in the newest Migros-Magazin, amongst them also Sarah Hill from the Swiss Club of South Australia.
The Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney will operate a mobile passport station in Adelaide on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 February 2017.
The Australian and New Zealand members of the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), Roland Isler VIC (chairperson), Carmen Trochsler SA, Beat Knoblauch NSW and Peter Ehrler NZ, organised a forum for leaders of all the Swiss community groups and associations from across Oceania.
Meet Lorenz Wuthrich, president of the Swiss Club of Western Australia. The interview is available as a podcast on SBS German.
The Swiss Abroad were asked by the OSA to shoot a video greetings message to celebrate 100 years of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). Have a look at the video!
Wie hat sich die Fünfte Schweiz im Lauf der Zeit verändert?
In December 2016 it is the turn of the Embassy of Switzerland to fly the extra mile!
Swiss-Australian artist Lucienne Fontannaz-Howard received top marks for her work.
The Council of the Swiss abroad met in Brunnen on 16 April 2016.
In 2016, the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is celebrating its centenary and 100 years of working on behalf of the Swiss Abroad.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 3 November 2017 – The federal referendum ‘Yes to the abolition of radio and television fees (abolition of Billag fees)’ intents to abolish the reception fees for licensed radio and television broadcasters with a public service obligation. The Federal Council is of the opinion that Switzerland needs a comprehensive public service in the media sector and that it cannot be financed exclusively on a commercial basis. It therefore rejects the initiative.
The Executive Board of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), like Parliament and the Federal Council, opposes the initiative, which will be voted on 4 March 2018. Public services in the information sector are of the utmost importance for Swiss Abroad.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 25 October 2017 – On Tuesday, 24 October, the governors and state secretaries of the Swiss cantons have received a letter signed by ten federal parliamentarians from the most important political parties, demanding that all Swiss Abroad be able to choose their National Councillors in the 2019 Swiss Federal Elections. The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), which has been working for years to ensure that the Swiss Abroad are able to use this voting channel, is delighted about this initiative and fully supports it.
On 27 September, the National Council (Nationalrat) followed the recommendation from the Economic Commission of the Lower House and rejected implementing the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) with New Zealand. The majority of the members are of the opinion that the Swiss in New Zealand are disadvantaged over other Swiss living abroad, because of the Swiss pension (AHV) being confiscated by the New Zealand Government.
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.
The Swiss Council of States yesterday adopted a motion which requires all Swiss banks that are “too big to fail” to accept Swiss citizens living outside of Switzerland. The motion was submitted by Filippo Lombardi (CVP/Ticino) and adopted with 23 votes to 14 and 6 abstentions. The banks in question are UBS, Credit Suisse, Zuercher Kantonalbank, Raiffeisen and Postfinance.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 11 September 2017 – the National Council (NC) today adopted, by 178 votes to 4 with 7 abstentions, a motion tabled by the Foreign Affairs Commission of the NC on 4 July 2017. This motion requires that PostFinance revises its universal financial services to extend them to Swiss Abroad in order to enable them to fulfill their financial obligations. PostFinance, the main shareholder of which is state-owned Swiss Post, has a special responsibility towards Swiss citizens.
In the lead-up to the Congress of the Swiss Abroad held in Basel, 116 delegates from all over the world assembled in the historic town hall on Friday 18 August for the constituent meeting of the new Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) for the term 2017-2021.
The Swiss expatriates are turning up the heat on Swiss institutions to grant discrimination-free access to financial services. The issue has plagued the community for nearly a decade.
Adrian Plitzco from SBS Radio interviews Katja Wallimann Gates who has been elected as a member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad. She explains what the organisation stands for and how she herself wants to contribute (Swiss-German). Echo Helvetia
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 4 July 2017 – The Foreign Policy Commission of the National Council has lodged a motion (19 to 0 votes with 1 abstention), calling on PostFinance to investigate the extension of basic financial services for Swiss Abroad. Since 2008 Swiss Abroad find it increasingly difficult to maintain a banking relationship in Switzerland. Our countrymen abroad need a bank account to maintain health insurance, facilitate social security contributions or to conduct financial transactions related to real estate ownership.
Swiss citizens residing in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Niue and American Samoa will have the opportunity to apply for a new Swiss passport and/or ID card in Kaponga or in Timaru instead of flying to Wellington for this purpose. This service will be available from 2 to 6 October 2017.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 28 June 2017 – GENEVA: Yesterday, in the presence of the directors of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), representatives of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the canton of Geneva, as well as National Councillor (SP/GE) and member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), Carlo Sommaruga, the electronic urn containing 1,378 ballots from Swiss citizens living in Mexico and Australia was opened. 7.43% of the eligible voters in Australia and 6.96% of those in Mexico participated in this premiere. For the first time, they were able to elect their delegates to the CSA online, using the CHVote electronic voting system made available by the canton of Geneva.
Through an interpellation*, National Councillor, Roland Rino Büchel (SVP/SG), has asked the Federal Council when it intends to conclude a social security insurance agreement with New Zealand.