Government proposes automatic referendums for international pacts

The government plans to enshrine in the constitution an automatic clause giving Swiss voters a say on the signing of certain international treaties. The project, announced on Wednesday, will increase legal security and boost the democratic legitimacy of international law, the government wrote in a press release. The idea comes just four months after a right-wing initiative to give Swiss law full primacy over international law was rejected by voters. The automatic triggering of a referendum would kick in for any international agreement which deals with fundamental rights, which modifies the Swiss constitution, or which “interferes with the overall process of running the state”, the government wrote. Currently, such a stipulation to consult the people on agreements involving international security pacts or joining international organisations exists, but it as an unwritten rule. In the past, this has been used on only three occasions, including in 1920 (when Switzerland joined ...
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