Dual nationality is a hot political topic for a few outspoken politicians in Switzerland who are concerned that dual nationals holding elected positions in Switzerland have a conflict of interest.
One suggestion for removing any potential split loyalty was to ban anyone with dual nationality from elected office, effectively forcing any dual nationals set on political office to give up all passports other than their Swiss one.
In 2017, Ignazio Cassis gave up his Italian nationality ahead of his election to the Federal Council, a move that made headlines in Switzerland.
However, beyond a minority of outspoken politicians, such as Marco Chiesa and Erich Hess from the UDC/SVP, most Swiss politicians were against forcing those with multiple nationalities to choose between retaining their multi-national identity and a life in Swiss politics. In 2018, parliament rejected a proposal put forward by Marco Chiesa to ban dual nationals from government.
Over time, the federal government has reached a middle ground. In September 2021, a requirement for members of government to make any additional nationalities public was accepted by a majority of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house.
This week, parliament followed the Council of States by supporting a requirement for elected officials to add other nationalities to their publicly displayed profiles on the internet.
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