Organ donations, Frontex and ‘Netflix levy’ set for public votes

Campaigners get ready to hand in the signatures against additional funds from Switzerland for the European border agency, Frontex........ © Keystone/Peter Schneider

Voters in Switzerland are likely to have the final say in May on organ donations, the European border agency and a levy on video streaming companies.

This content was published on January 20, 2022 - 17:35

Separate committees on Thursday handed in the signatures collected over the past 100 days to force a nationwide vote on the three issues.

Under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, it takes at least 50,000 valid signatures to challenge a parliamentary decision to a ballot.

The government has set May 15 as the date for the three votes.

Presumed consent

Parliament last year agreed to change the organ donation system from explicit to presumed consent, prompting opposition from a committee mainly made up of representatives from civil society.

The committee said it collected about 64,000 signatures over the past 100 days.

A decision by parliament to impose a 4% levy on video streaming companies to help the Swiss film industry and to impose a quota of European film productions on streaming platforms will also face a nationwide vote.

The legal amendment was challenged by youth chapters of political parties on the right and centre-right of the political spectrum. They say they gathered about 70,000 signatures from Swiss citizens against the “illiberal” reform.


A third referendum aims to veto a parliamentary decision to increase Switzerland’s contribution to the European border agency Frontex by a factor of four to CHF61 million ($66 million) by 2027.

An alliance of civil rights groups and left-wing parties opposing the parliamentary decision also handed in their signatures at the Federal Chancellery.

Campaigners said they handed in about 62,000 signatures.

.....while other campaigners were posing with their boxes full of signatures before handing them on the same day. © Keystone/Peter Schneider
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