Popular Initiative as an Instrument of Migration Policy in Switzerland

Magdalena Perkowska


The main aim of this article was to present the popular initiatives in Switzerland concerning migration. The initiatives were presented in chronological order and analysed from historical and current perspectives, starting from 1968 with the initiative “Anti-foreign empire” through 2018 with “For the moderated immigration (initiative of limitation)”. The article focuses mainly on initiatives held in the 21st century, as they were accepted by the people and led to changes of the Federal Constitution. The main research question is whether Swiss citizens may use popular initiative as an effective instrument influencing migration policy. The main hypothesis is that the popular initiative may be an effective instrument influencing migration policy. The author used the dogmatic method as the research method which refers to the analysis of the legislation and academic literature, based on library searches made in Switzerland. The article presents the main arguments of the initiator as well as the immigration situation, which was always a background for developing the idea. As the article focuses mostly on the initiative “Stop mass immigration” it presents in detail the arguments that encouraged people to vote in favour. Those arguments referred to e.g. real estate market, natural environment, labour market, social security, Swiss identity, culture and religion, criminality and asylum. The author also analysed the implementation of initiatives and attempts to answer the question whether the amendment of the Federal Constitution was effective.


popular initiative; migration; foreigners

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2020.29.1.181-195
Data publikacji: 2020-03-29 19:06:42
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-09-04 12:30:14


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