Swiss referendums, 2014
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
There were 3 referendums on February 9, 2014.
The abortion referendum proposed that abortions would no longer be funded through health insurance, but should be paid for privately by the mother.
The anti-immigration proposal was supported by the Swiss People's Party, and opposes the free movement of workers between the EU and Switzerland, which was introduced following a 2000 referendum.
The rail network proposal combined a number of existing federal and cantonal funds into a single permanent rail infrastructure fund, and defined a programme of upgrade projects of about 42 billion francs over 40 years, with a mechanism for the federal council to present regular updates to the programme. The initial programme includes a number of speed increases to intercity rail routes and S-Bahn expansion around Bern, Basel, and Geneva.
The abortion referendum, that would have dropped abortion coverage from public health insurance, failed by a large margin, with about 70% of participating voters rejecting the proposal.
The immigration restriction proposal passed by a narrow margin, with 50.3% of participating voters supporting the measure; the proposal was also approved by the required majority of cantons. The immigration measure requires the Swiss government to either renegotiate the Swiss-EU agreement of free movement of people within three years, or to revoke the agreement. The proposal mandates re-introduction of strict quotas for various immigration categories, and imposes limits on the ability of foreigners to bring in their family members to live in Switzerland, to access Swiss social security benefits, and to request asylum. Opinion polls ahead of the vote showed the lead for the opponents of the immigration measure, but that lead began to close as the day of the referendum approached.
|Turnout||Cantons for||Cantons against|
|"Against mass immigration"||1,463,854||50.3||1,444,552||49.7||39,750||2,948,156||56.57||12||5||8||1|
|Financing and development of railway infrastructure||1,776,878||62.0||1,088,176||38.0||65,723||2,930,777||56.24||19||6||1||0|
|Source: Government of Switzerland, Government of Switzerland, Government of Switzerland|
Due to the passing of the initiative to limit immigration, Switzerland has effectively rejected granting Croatia free movement of persons. As retaliation, the EU has excluded Switzerland from the programs Erasmus and Horizon 2020, the largest educational and research European program ever.
Four referendums were held in Switzerland on 18 May 2014. An initiative on minimum wage proposed that the government should promote the adoption of minimum wages in collective agreements, and set a national minimum wage of 22 francs an hour, which would have been the highest minimum wage in the world. The other referendums included changes to primary health care, a lifetime ban on convicted pedophiles working with children, and the procurement of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft.
|Turnout||Cantons for||Cantons against|
|JAS 39 Gripen procurement||1,345,726||46.59||1,542,761||53.41||52,649||2,941,136||5,221,519||56.33|
|Primary health care||2,480,870||88.07||336,196||11.93||98,927||2,915,993||55.85||20||6||0||0|
|Restrictions on paedophiles||1,819,822||63.53||1,044,704||36.47||68,733||2,933,259||56.18||20||6||0||0|
|Source: Government of Switzerland|
Two referendums will be held on 28 September. Voters will be asked whether they support the creation of a unified health insurance fund and the "End to VAT discrimination in the hospitality industry" popular initiative.
The VAT initiative was launched by GastroSuisse, and seeks to reduce the level of VAT paid in restaurants from the standard 8% to 2.5%, the same level paid at food stands. However, the Federal Council and the Federal Assembly both oppose the proposal, as it would reduce tax take by around CHF 750 million.
- "Elections and referenda", Revue [Review], CH.
- Volksinitiative "Abtreibungsfinanzierung ist Privatsache" [Popular initiative ‘Abortion financing is private’], CH: CH.
- Switzerland to hold February 2014 referendum on immigration quotas, Work Permit, 28 November 2013.
- Swiss immigration vote very close, early projections say BBC News, 9 February 2014.
- Swiss voters back long-term rail funding plan, Railway Gazette, 11 Feb 2014
- Abortions to remain covered by health insurance, Swissinfo.ch, February 9, 2014. Accessed February 9, 2014
- Swiss agree to curb immigration and rethink EU deal, Swissinfo.ch, February 9, 2014. Accessed February 9, 2014
- Swiss voters back limit on immigration, Washington Post, February 9, 2014. Accessed February 9, 2014
- "13.014 Pour la protection de salaires équitables (Initiative sur les salaires minimums). Initiative populaire". Parlament.ch. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- Switzerland rejects world's highest minimum wage BBC News, 18 May 2014
- Referendums of May, 2014 Swiss Federal Chancellery Retrieved March 6, 2014 (German)
- Preview of ballot proposals Swiss Review