Swiss politicians told to reveal all their nationalities

Ignazio Cassis volunteered to drop his Italian citizenship when he became Swiss foreign minister. Keystone / Peter Schneider

Dual-national parliamentarians and government ministers in Switzerland will in future be compelled to declare their citizenships of other countries.

This content was published on September 29, 2021 minutes

Both chambers of parliament have now agreed to the new rule, although the bill must still be fine-tuned before it passes into law.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted in favour of the demand from the right-wing People’s Party. The House of Representatives had already passed the motion.

The move is largely symbolic as there are no restrictions on dual nationals becoming parliamentarians or ministers in Switzerland.

The issue came to prominence in 2017 when two dual-national candidates put their names forward to become government ministers.

Ignazio Cassis, who eventually went on to become foreign minister, volunteered to drop his Italian citizenship to appease critics.

The latest requirement has been welcomed as a move towards transparency by the People’s Party.

Green Party objections that it would infringe on personal privacy and open politicians up to undue criticism were brushed aside by both parliamentary chambers.

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