The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Parliament has finalized 14 bills

The Federal Assembly concluded the spring session on Friday with the final votes. 14 bills have been approved by parliament:

- by 122 votes to 42 with 27 abstentions (National Council) and 42 votes to 1 with one abstention (Council of States) the revised CO2 Act for the years 2025 to 2030, which aims to halve CO2 emissions compared to 1990;

- by 106 votes to 74 with 11 abstentions (National Council) and 28 votes to 6 with 10 abstentions (Council of States) to approve transitional funding for the dissemination of the electronic patient record (EPR). This involves a contribution of CHF 30 million;

- by 126 votes to 65 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 43 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States) for amendments to the Environmental Protection Act to strengthen the circular economy. The bill also introduces fines for throwing away and leaving waste lying around;

- by 121 votes to 64 with 5 abstentions (National Council) and 28 votes to 14 with 2 abstentions (Council of States) to relax the Second Homes Act, which simplifies the conversion of residential buildings built before the Yes vote on the second homes initiative;

- by 188 votes to 3 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 44 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States) amendments to rail infrastructure expansion programs and the new long-term strategy "Rail 2050 Perspective";

- by 100 votes to 66 with 25 abstentions (National Council) and 39 votes to 5 with 0 abstentions (Council of States) a further development of the Schengen mechanism, which will allow Switzerland to continue to participate in the protection of the Schengen area's external borders. This involves a contribution of CHF 300 million for seven years;

- by 191 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 44 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States) the modernized Patent Act, which upgrades the Swiss patent for inventions;

- by 190 votes to 0 with one abstention (National Council) and 44 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States) to enshrine the integral risk management of natural hazards in the Hydraulic Engineering Act;

- by 150 votes to 35 with 6 abstentions (National Council) and 33 votes to 11 with 0 abstentions (Council of States). In all cantons, this calls for the introduction of burden-sharing between the family allowance funds;

- by 125 votes to 66 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 41 votes to 1 with 2 abstentions (Council of States) a further development of the Schengen evaluation, which will make the review of the Schengen acquis more efficient and effective;

- by 124 votes to 66 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 37 votes to 4 with 3 abstentions (Council of States) the temporary increase in the number of judges from 65 to 70 full-time positions at the Federal Administrative Court;

- by 125 votes to 66 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 37 votes to 5 with 2 abstentions (Council of States) for the creation of an additional post for part-time judges at the Federal Criminal Court;

- by 186 votes to 5 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 44 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States). This concerns an amendment to the legal basis for the discussion of the federal budget in Parliament and the involvement of the finance committees in budget-related business;

- by 191 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (National Council) and 44 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions (Council of States).

With the exception of the two decisions on increasing the number of judgeships, all proposals are subject to an optional referendum. The deadline for collecting signatures is as soon as the decisions have been published in the Federal Gazette.

A referendum on Switzerland's contribution to the protection of the EU's external borders is under discussion. A left-wing collective called "Freedom of movement for all" is looking for partners, according to a press release. The referendum is reportedly already supported by the activist network Migrant Solidarity Network.

©Keystone/SDA

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