An initiative, designed to end the “influx” of cross-border workers into Geneva, has failed to get enough signatures.
In Switzerland, changes to the constitution or law can be presented to voters if enough signatures can be collected. Votes can be organized at commune, canton and federal levels.
In Geneva, cantonal initiatives aimed at changing the law, require a minimum number of signatures be collected within 4 months. For legislative initiatives the number is currently 5,227 (2% of voters).
The initiative dubbed “Frontaliers: stop!“, or “Stop cross-border workers”, failed to reach this mark, collecting around 5,000 signatures, according to the newspaper Tribune de Genève.
The initiative, organized by the Mouvement citoyens genevois (MCG), was designed to complement new federal rules which require employers to offer certain jobs to local job hunters before advertising them to foreign residents. In May, the federal government placed jobs in 19 categories on this list.
The “Frontaliers: stop!” initiative went further and aimed to require employers to demonstrate that no local person is available to take any position before hiring a foreign resident – excluding Swiss citizens residing abroad.
Currently, around 100,000 people hold cross-border work visas for Geneva.
Speaking to the newspaper Tribune de Genève, Francois Baertschi, one of the organizers, said that campaigners were too timid.
Near the end, the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP) joined the MCG in promoting the initiative after dropping its initiative entitled “Geneva first”.
Baertschi told the newspaper that the party would now look at whether to relaunch a similar initiative.