For a strong Switzerland in Europe: Launch of the Europe Initiative

Today the time has finally come: we are launching the Europe Initiative together with Operation Libero, the European Movement Switzerland and other organisations of the Europe Alliance.

Apr 2, 2024
Die Europa-Allianz bestehend aus Vertreter:innen von Volt, Operation Libero, den Grünen, der Europäischen Bewegung Schweiz, VSS und weiteren vor einer Leinwand auf dem Bundesplatz. Die Leinwand zeigt eine Karte Europas, mit der fehlenden Schweiz in der Mitte. Links steht die Aufschrift:

We are living in challenging times: The comfortable stability of the recent decades is over and values that were long taken for granted are now being questioned. Democracy is under increasing pressure worldwide and the political intrigues aimed at dividing our society do not halt at Switzerland’s borders. True to the motto "divide and conquer", autocrats like Putin are trying to weaken democratic forces and set them against each other.

In these times, it is more important than ever to stand together and defend democracy. Switzerland is therefore at a crossroads: do we want to continue to insist on our solo effort, the “Alleingang”, in these times of multiple crises and hope that it will all somehow pass us by? Or do we want to take our destiny into our own hands by becoming an active part of Europe and standing up for a better tomorrow together with allies who share our most important values?

Our answer is clear: Switzerland is part of Europe and this should also be included in our constitution!

Democracy, freedom and peace: there is no other partner in the world that shares our fundamental Swiss values as deeply as Europe and the European Union. There is also no other partner that is so intertwined with us economically and politically as well as geographically and culturally and that meets us as equals. It is therefore clear to us that we must stabilise, strengthen and ultimately expand our relations with Europe.

A foundation for a strong relationship instead of plaster policy

First and foremost, relations with the EU need to be stabilised. Unfortunately, the current ones are getting outdated and are still shaky following the breakdown of negotiations on the institutional framework agreement in 2021. This instability is tangible, for example, in the world's largest research project, Horizon Europe, in which Switzerland was downgraded to a third country. Although these tarnished relations are currently being addressed by the new negotiating mandate between Switzerland and the European Union, these new agreements will not last forever either and will become outdated again, especially in these fast-moving times. As with any relationship, it is simply not enough to talk to each other and invest something every few decades. A commitment is needed; a fundamental decision on Europe.

We want to give a voice to the silent majority that is in favour of further development of our relations with the EU and secure our cooperation in the long term, even beyond potential Bilaterals III, IV or V, with a strong and expandable foundation.

A clear goal for active participation

The Europe Initiative has a clear, long-term goal: the Swiss Confederation must safeguard the individual freedoms that the access to the single market and the free movement of persons give us, and expand cooperation in other areas such as culture, education, research and climate protection. By writing cooperation in these important areas into the constitution, we are creating the long-term foundation mentioned above on which we can build in the future.

It is based on the credo: Switzerland should be able to play an active role in shaping what concerns it. In this way, we want to give Switzerland back its ability to act, which it has increasingly lost in recent years.

Sign the Europe Initiative

It starts today! Use your vote for a strong Switzerland that is capable of acting, that stands by its values and that wants to defend them together with Europe. Join us in initiating this fundamental debate on a long-term foundation that will create the Switzerland of the future.