The Swiss Public Initiative against Mass Immigration (‘Masseneinwanderungsinitiave’): Caught between Constitutional Sovereignty and Pacta Sunt Servanda

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
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  • 1 Institut für Steuerrecht, Universität Bern, Berne, Switzerland

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This article seeks to bring some clarity to the publicly held debate on the Swiss federal popular initiative to limit immigration as it was adopted on 9 February 2014 by the Swiss people. It considers the crux of the matter, which is the implementation of the new Swiss constitutional article in the context of public international law. The initiative is stuck in between Swiss constitutional sovereignty and Swiss treaty obligations flowing from the agreement on free movement of persons between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation. Specific attention is paid to the democratic element anchored in the Swiss Constitution which, in contrast to other systems where the judicial element prevails, is of high importance for whole the process of a bilateral contractual relationship between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation.

  • 10

    Uebersax (2014), referring to Swiss Federal Announcement Organ (BBl) 2013, p. 313.

  • 18

    See also Uebersax (2014), p. 3, quoting bge 136 ii 329 and bge 134 iv 57.

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