For the fundamental right of naturalization: manifest for a modern Switzerland
Out of the eight million people living in Switzerland, two million do not have a Swiss passport – this is also a consequence of exclusionary policies. This makes Switzerland one of those countries in Europe where it is most difficult to become naturalized. While diversity has long been part of everyday life, opportunities and rights are unequally distributed on a political, economic, social and cultural scale. Since this shortage is doing great harm to democracy, we need a new, courageous societal concept.
A fundamental right to participation
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Anyone living in Switzerland has therefore the right to full political and social participation. The path to reach this is naturalization: the right to participate in elections and popular votes and to a secure residence and – above all – the right to be recognized as a full member of the community. This is why we are convinced that it is the fundamental right of all people to be citizens of the country they permanently live in.
For a real democracy
The diversity resulting from migration is part of Switzerland’s cultural wealth. The origin of a person, their ideological conviction and social position should not play a role for the enjoyment of civil rights. No one should have to «earn» citizenship through adaptation. Only this way can we create a credible promise of equal participation and enable all people in Switzerland to realize their potential for the benefit of all.
Actively promoting naturalization
In the interest of a real democracy the federal government as well as the cantons and municipalities must actively promote naturalization. The current naturalization procedure aims at selection and is based on the suspicion that one might demand something that they are not entitled to. This attitude has to change. People, who are living in Switzerland but don’t have a Swiss passport yet, should be welcomed, supported and invited to become naturalized. An effective measure would for example be the abandonment of fees.
Objective criteria and fair procedures
Everyone who has lived in Switzerland for four years should have the right to naturalization, regardless of their residence status. Outdated, unobjective and arbitrary criteria should be abolished. Cantonal and communal residence periods can no longer be justified. It is also discriminatory if people receiving income support are denied their civil rights. Naturalization has to be granted in a fast and inexpensive procedure by an administrative authority.
Those born in Switzerland have to receive the Swiss passport
Children, who are residents of Switzerland at birth, should receive the Swiss citizenship automatically. This progressive solution, that is already practiced in other countries, ensures equal opportunities for all children who are born here, while considering the diversity of the population and helping Switzerland to stay a vivid democracy with a claim to equality and justice.