Volt supports the Europe Initiative

It is time to talk about the elephant in the room: Relations with the EU are crumbling and if you look at the current course from the federal council, there is no improvement in sight any time soon. Therefore, it is now up to the people to send a clear mandate to Bern with the Europe Initiative.

Aug 30, 2022
Violetter Hintergrund, auf dem ein türkiser Elefantenkopf mit dem Schriftzug Europa-Initiative abgebildet ist.

Switzerland is not an isolated island; neither geographically, nor politically, and certainly not economically. We are surrounded by Europe and trade, work, travel and live in an increasingly networked way.

That is why Switzerland's relations with the EU are currently more important than ever. Just like our daily lives, the challenges of our time no longer stop at borders: refugee crises, Corona, climate catastrophes and wars show in an extreme way that we in Europe are dependent on each other and that we will only master coming challenges together.

"Together we are strong"

We at Volt are the first Pan-European party with over 19 thousand members in more than 30 countries and we have over 100 members in national and local parliaments. Together we fight for a strong, united and federal Europe, which, like the Swiss Confederates in history, should come together and unite despite their different languages and cultures. A Europe that uses synergies and stands up for our common values of democracy, human rights, sustainability and freedom for all. We want to face the challenges of our time together, because only together can we create a tomorrow worth living for all.

We are losing our sovereignty

The current European policy does not reflect today's reality of life, but relies instead on parochialism. The static bilateral agreements with the EU are outdated and no longer cover many new areas of the economy and society as a whole. Without a framework agreement, neither the existing treaties can be updated nor new agreements with the EU can be concluded.

While Europe continues to move closer together, Switzerland is left out in the cold and increasingly loses its ability to act. More and more often, we have to support decisions and their consequences without any participation in the discussion. It is a loss of our sovereignty.

Attitude of refusal in the Federal Parliament

With problems like these, one would think that the national government should do its utmost to resolve them as quickly as possible and stabilise relations with its most important trading partner. However, after the federal council unilaterally withdrew from the seven-year negotiations on the Framework Agreement, European policy has now been at an almost complete standstill for over a year.

Parliament did want to take the reins into its own hands and in June 2021 even drafted a parliamentary initiative for a Europe Act, which could represent a chance for a potential solution to this situation. However, not much has happened since then: In mid-August, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of States (APK-S) further postponed the motion, and thus Swiss politics is once again watching while the situation continues to deteriorate.

The politicians refusal to act on this massively harms the economy, research and ultimately all people in Switzerland. Such a loss of the ability to act is simply not sustainable and must come to an end.

And this is precisely where the people come into play

With the Europe Initiative, the people can force the Federal Council to put an end to this refusal to act. It gives the government a clear, binding mandate with the aim of stabilising Swiss relations with the EU and restoring our ability to act. However, it leaves enough room for solution-oriented negotiations and prescribes neither EEA nor EU accession.

We are on board

For us at Volt, it is clear that the current situation is no longer sustainable. The Europe Initiative finally offers a way out of the dead end in the European policy that we have been in for far too long.

That is why we are joining the Europe Alliance and, together with the Greens, La Suisse en Europe, Operation Libero, Suisseculture and VSS, we are helping to put an end to this refusal to act. If you also want to help and support us, click here.

The EU and Switzerland must finally sit around the table again and talk with each other. This is exactly what we are going to achieve with the Europe Initiative.

Switzerland is a part of Europe, even if it is not a member of the EU. As already mentioned, Switzerland is not an island. So let's stop pretending that it is.