Report of the Spring Meeting 2019

The legislative body of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA), the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), met for its biannual meeting at the town hall in Bern on 23 March 2019. For the second time, the meeting followed on an exchange with Swiss parliamentarians for an update on political issues with relevance for the Swiss Abroad.

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Exhibition ‘Switzerland elsewhere’

From 13 April to 29 September 2019, the Swiss Abroad will be featured in the Swiss History Forum in Schwyz as part of the exhibition ‘Switzerland elsewhere’.

 

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The new edition of the Swiss Review is out now

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Spring Meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad –

Expat Swiss group wants to vet parliament candidates

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Spring Meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad –

PostFinance faces renewed criticism

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Have you downloaded the new edition of the Swiss Review yet?

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Geneva shelves e-voting platform on cost grounds

Canton Geneva has announced it can no longer afford to bear the cost of an e-voting system and plans to abandon the project, according to Swiss public radio, RTS. This leaves only one other e-voting project still standing in Switzerland run by Swiss Post.

 

Read the full Swissinfo report here

Have you downloaded the new edition of the Swiss Review yet?

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Jungbürgerfeier – Young Swiss Citizen Celebration

Saturday, 15 September saw the ‘Young Swiss Citizen Celebration’ being held for the third time in Victoria. 15 young Swiss who recently celebrated their 18th birthday, and therefore have become fully-fletched Swiss citizens with all the rights and obligations that this entails, followed the invitation by the Hon. Consul, Manuela Erb, to a luncheon at the Swiss Club of Victoria. They were accompanied by their mums and dads, grandparents and brothers and sisters.

 

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Congress of the Swiss Abroad, 10 - 12 Aug 2018

The Valais city of Visp hosted the 2018 Congress of the Swiss Abroad and assembly of the Council of the Swiss Abroad from August 10- 12. The social program included an excursion to the Ryffelberg-Gornergrat on the final day.

 

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Report on the Council Meeting and the Congress of the Swiss Abroad in Visp in August 2018

The Valais city of Visp hosted the 2018 Congress of the Swiss Abroad and the Council Meeting of the Swiss Abroad from August 10-12, with the final day excursion to the Ryffelberg–Gornergrat.

The Council Meeting was attended by some 97 members and the debates were lively and animated. The following subjects were decided on or discussed:

It was decided to launch a petition to the Swiss Government to introduce e-voting on a national level as soon as possible. Currently only some Cantons offer this opportunity. Various speakers were asked previously to comment on the security systems built – in the e-voting platforms, whereby the Canton of Geneva assured their system to be proof. The Swiss Post developed another safe system, according to their representative. The petition has also to be seen in the light of some strong opposition to electronic voting efforts by some political parties from the right.

The Swiss victims of the Nazi Regime before and during WW2 should get a memorial in Switzerland: this was approved, and the Committee will make recommendations as to the form and location. In the debate leading to the resolution some members also wanted to commemorate (all) other Swiss victims of other international conflicts.

The Yearly Budget of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad was approved with the inclusion of the publishing and distribution costs of the Swiss Review – which previously was handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Berne. The subsidy from the Government is equal to the previous allocated costs by the Government.

The CSA budget is very tight and not commensurate to the task it has undertaken. Your Delegate has suggested, that in addition to the Federal Subsidy, the committee should look for subsidies directly from the Cantons, as we are also citizens of specific cantons.

On other Budget matters: thanks to a generous donation by Bank Roche, the Delegates are being reimbursed some of their travel costs to Switzerland. Your Delegate received Swiss Francs 400, a first.

The Members of the Council wish to be better informed before national elections as to the position of all political parties and their candidates in regard to matters affecting the Swiss Abroad. Members also want to know of the voting record/habits of the Parliamentarians in this respect. For instance, it would be good to know which political party opposes dual citizenship.

Under this heading figured also a discussion on whether the Council of the Swiss Abroad should issue ‘How to Vote’ suggestions before Federal Elections or Referenda.

Representation of the Swiss Broad in the Federal National Council: the meeting took note of a members group working on various schemes to promote direct representation. No decisions taken.

The meeting acknowledged the efforts of a Swiss Parliamentarian Group formed especially to promote the interests of the Swiss Abroad. In March 2018 the first meeting took place with CSA members at the Parliament House in Berne. The Grouping encompasses 96 members.

Your Delegate made specific proposals. Even for the uninitiated it became apparent, that the CSA achieves its goals and aims only through the help of Swiss Parliamentarians.

The Congress Theme centered about the question ‘Swiss Sovereignty within the European context’. Various speakers tackled the problem. Absolute sovereignty is hardly possible within an integrated and interdependent society. Switzerland alone has signed hundreds of international treaties, is a member of international organisations, adheres to international conventions, all of which have rules re arbitration, reference to international tribunals, etc which limit in an agreed way the range of sovereignty. Some Swiss political activists want to resist jurisdiction of these ‘Foreign Judges’. But, turning the clock backwards will be difficult.

The CSA arranged for a range of excellent speakers on this subject, including a speech by the EU Representative to Switzerland. Switzerland’s economic dependence on some EU neighbouring countries was highlighted, especially the trade with our Northern neighbours such as Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg ,etc.

The next Congress will be held in Montreux 16-18 August 2019.  The next CSA Meeting will be held in Berne on 23 March 2019. The Congress in 2020 will be held in Lugano.

Beat Knoblauch, CSA Delegate,Sydney, September 4, 2018




Sign the petition: Electronic Voting for all Swiss Abroad!

Members of the Council of the Swiss Abroad meeting in the town of Visp on Friday, 10 August approved plans to launch an online petition calling for the introduction of e-voting over the next three years. Oceania was represented at the meeting by Katja Wallimann Gates and Beat Knoblauch (pictured), Peter Ehrler and Peter Canziani.

 

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Happy Swiss National Day from your CSA Oceania!

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Touring New Zealand and Australia for the first time…

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Positive progress in electronic voting

OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 28 June 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) welcomes the Federal Council’s decision to commission the Federal Chancellery with the preparation of a project that makes e-voting a regular voting option. This decision represents a significant step forward in the introduction of e-voting and recognises it as a safe and reliable option. For Swiss Abroad, this e-voting is often the only way to exercise their political rights.

 

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Have you downloaded the new edition of the Swiss Review yet?

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Diccon Bewes – The Englishman who makes the Swiss laugh

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