The Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA) is a new youth organisation that is working together closely with the Organisation of Swiss Abroad (OSA). Within Switzerland, we have witnessed a surge in youth associations, youth parliaments that aim to improve the community within a region or a city. Seeing as these projects have turned out to be huge successes, we felt that there was a need for the representation of the young Swiss Abroad community as well.
This is why the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA) was founded on 15 August 2015 in Geneva. In October of the same year, we had our first elections through which a committee of 13 members from all over the world was elected. The committee members currently represent five continents: Africa, Europe, North-America, South-America and Oceania. In the future, we hope to expand our reach to other continents as well in order to make the committee more representative of its members who reside in 22 nations across six continents.
YPSA aims to create a sense of community and a link to Switzerland for the young Swiss Abroad between 15 and 35, currently living abroad or who have lived abroad for more than 10 years. By creating a platform, we hope to encourage discussion and political involvement. Furthermore, the committee aims to raise awareness of the needs of the young Swiss Abroad, to promote activities, to provide information, and organise youth conferences. We hope to aid young Swiss Abroad in relating to their roots.
As well as the social aspect that YPSA brings to the young Swiss Abroad community, YPSA will also promote awareness of political rights and responsibilities for young Swiss Abroad, while remaining a non-political association. On our online platform we will provide information about elections and referenda, but also present information on topics such as how Swiss Abroad can study in Switzerland.
We would like to invite you to join our new organisation and help us spread the word in order for our platform to become bigger and reach out to even more young Swiss Abroad. Our online platform can be found on Facebook, under ‘Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad (YPSA)’. We are also represented on Instagram under ‘YPSA Switzerland’ and are aiming to increase our presence on other social media as well.
If you have any questions, queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us, we welcome your input.
Ryan Cooper, YPSA Secretary and
Oceania Representative. Email
The foundation of the Youth Parliament of the Swiss Abroad was supported by the Youth division of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad. However, the Youth Parliament is an independent community and is independent of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad.
The islands of Tonga in the South Pacific have been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita. Winds of 230km/h have flattened parts of Parliament House and caused significant damage and injuries across the kingdom, which is made up on 176 islands, though only 40 are inhabited. Thankfully, no reports of causalities have been received. Australia and New Zealand have already dispatched emergency supplies.
The Swiss Parliament voted for the Introduction of Automatic Exchange of Information with New Zealand. A summary and comments by Peter Ehrler, New Zealand Member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad
The Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney informs that it plans to visit the following cities with the mobile passport station:
• Brisbane (second half of May – early June)
• Mackay (second half of May – early June)
• Cairns (second half of May)
• Darwin (second half of May)
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.