The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Parliaments in Delsberg and Bern discuss Moutier Concordat

The Jura cantonal parliament and the Bernese cantonal parliament are discussing the same matter on Wednesday (today). They will discuss the agreement on the change of canton of Moutier.

Approval of the concordat is considered certain in both Delsberg and Bern. However, the bill is not yet a done deal. It will be submitted to the electorate of both cantons next September.

The document, which was signed by the Bernese and Jura governments last November, comprises 36 articles. It is intended to put an end to all territorial disputes between the two cantons and thus settle the Jura conflict at an institutional level.

The intercantonal concordat regulates the most important points relating to the transfer of the still Bernese municipality of Moutier with its approximately 7200 inhabitants. In particular, it deals with continuity in administration, schools, justice, hospitals and taxes.

The distribution of goods is also regulated. The bottom line is that the Jura will pay CHF 7.7 million to the Canton of Bern. However, the final figures have not yet been determined.

Only a few opponents

In the Jura parliament, the MPs do not want to be seen as the gravediggers of the changeover from Moutier. At best, some MPs could express their fear that a Delsberg-Moutier axis could be established at the expense of Pruntrut. However, it is unlikely that they will reject the concordat for this reason.

Not all deputies in the Bernese Grand Council support the concordat. Some deputies from the Bernese Jura believe that the canton of Bern could have gained more financially. However, according to observers, their "no" vote does not call into question the approval of the Bernese Grand Council.

German and French-speaking MPs from the left to the right have spoken out in favor of the concordat. In their opinion, a "no" vote would reignite the Jura conflict and jeopardize the projects launched by Avenir Berne romande for the Bernese Jura.

Historic step

The electorate of Moutier voted in favor of the move to the canton of Jura on March 28, 2021. Never before has a Swiss municipality of this size moved to a new canton. The change is to take place on January 1, 2026.

©Keystone/SDA

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