An annual survey on security by ETH in Zurich reveals widespread support Switzerland’s neutrality.
Since 2015, support for the principle of neutrality has remained constant at 95%. 85% feel neutrality is inseparable from the Swiss concept of the state and 60% think Switzerland’s armed neutrality contributes to security and stability in Europe.
In addition, 94% think Switzerland can play a positive role in conflict resolution and international mediation because of its neutral status.
And while 59% support Switzerland’s active involvement in the UN, only 19% are in favour of Switzerland joining NATO.
45% think Switzerland should rely solely on its own national defense and 81% see its armed forces as necessary. 43% think the nation’s military plays a central role in Swiss life, 44% see it as a necessary evil, and 12% think it should be abolished. Support for the Swiss military is found across all age groups. 79% of 18-29 year olds, the age of conscription, see it as necessary. 77% of those aged 30-59 do also and 89% of those 60 and older do too.
The demand for economic and political autonomy among Swiss remains high (77%). 36% think neutrality is an obstacle to economic cooperation with other European states but only 18% think Switzerland should abandon it.
Skepticism towards the EU continues. Only 16% favour Switzerland becoming an EU member. 81% think Switzerland should strengthen economic relations with the block but not join it.
The survey questioned 1,209 Swiss in January 2018.