Two members of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, have called for those born in Switzerland to be granted citizenship, a concept known as Jus soli, which is predominant in the Americas, but rare elsewhere.
The two politicians, Paul Rechsteiner from St. Gallen and Lisa Mazzone from Geneva, say that studies show citizenship acts as a catalyst for integration. For Rechsteiner anyone born and raised here should be recognised as a full member of Swiss society and have a Swiss passport. For him it’s about democracy and human rights, according to Le Matin.
Mazzone pointed out that while women’s suffrage doubled the number of voters in Switzerland, foreigners, a quarter of Switzerland’s residents, remain excluded from Swiss democracy. In addition, despite voter acceptance of fast track naturalisation for young third generation residents in 2017, citizenship applications have fallen, partly because of tighter restrictions introduced in 2018.
When asked whether the demand was likely to succeed, Mazzone said that the timing is good for such a request, which is aimed at restarting the debate. And the idea is not new. The Federal Council proposed it 100 years ago, said Rechsteiner.