Popular initiative (Switzerland)

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Demonstration, in front of the Federal Palace of Switzerland, in support of the federal popular initiative "for a ban on the export of military equipment", in 2007. The votation was organised on 29 November 2009.
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A popular initiative allows the people to suggest law in Switzerland on a federal, cantonal and municipal level. On a federal and cantonal level it suggests changing the respective constitution. Besides referendum and, in some cantons, recall, it is means of direct democracy in Switzerland.

Federal popular initiative[edit]

The federal popular initiative (German Eidgenössische Volksinitiative, French: Initiative populaire fédérale) is an instrument of direct democracy in Switzerland. It allows citizens to propose changes to the Swiss Federal Constitution. A votation will be organised for every modification that collected 100,000 valid signatures.

It is different from the mandatory referendum in that the proposition to change the constitution comes from the population and not from the parliament.

A double majority of people and cantons is required to change the constitution.

Popular initiative exist at the federal, cantonal (cantons) and communal (town) levels.

Cantonal popular initiative[edit]

Municipal popular initiative[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Vincent Golay and Mix et Remix, Swiss political institutions, Éditions loisirs et pédagogie, 2008. ISBN 978-2-606-01295-3.

External links[edit]