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«Call to the municipality of Lausanne to take in refugees from the Greek islands»

Level: Municipality
Municipality: Lausanne (VD)
Status: Accepted


Positive answer of the city council on 08 October 2020:

“The eight largest cities in Switzerland, including the city of Lausanne, have agreed to take in more refugees and encouraged the Confederation to follow suit in the context of the humanitarian emergency. In addition, Lausanne, in cooperation with Geneva, issued a press release on 11 September calling on our country to make an extra effort to receive people from the Moria camp after the terrible fire that raged there.

However, the commune recalls that decisions on the admission of refugees are the responsibility of the Confederation and must be taken in coordination with the largest cities in Switzerland, as it is prepared to act within the competencies of the Confederation, cantons and communes.

In addition, the city of Lausanne will continue to work with Switzerland’s main cities to ensure that the above steps are not ignored at federal level. It is proposing to the Federal Council to admit more refugees on humanitarian grounds, which is legally permissible if the Federal Council does not wish to establish a so-called “direct admission procedure”.

This approach is in keeping with Lausanne’s long tradition of welcoming people. This is also reflected in the close collaboration with the Etablissement Vaudois d’Accueil des Migrants (EVAM), which aims to find accommodation solutions adapted to the needs of individuals and to support social and professional integration processes.


The EBF renews the call of the Friends of Cornelius Koch and CEDRI :

The situation in the camps on the Greek islands is degrading

During the night of 8/9 September 2020 a major fire destroyed the refugee camp of Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos. At one stroke, all 12,000 people were homeless and wandered the streets. After the already inhumane situation in the camp, the humanitarian disaster had now become a reality. Subsequently, a few EU countries and Switzerland agreed to take in a few hundred people. This minimal number is a disgrace! Many are still homeless and 8,000 people who had to flee the fire in Moria are now waiting in a new, hastily built camp: without water supply and sanitation, without electricity or heating. The floor of the former firing range is contaminated with ammunition and again and again cartridges and non-detonated explosives are found. The next catastrophe is pre-programmed.

A broad campaign to take in refugees from the camps

50,000 people throughout Switzerland, the national churches and over 130 organisations have supported the Os-ter appeal of Amnesty International’s Evacuation NOW campaign and the Migration Charter, which calls for a rapid evacuation of the Greek camps and a generous reception of refugees. Numerous politicians – across all party lines – have also lent their support to these demands. What counts is not party affiliation, but human conscience. The eight largest cities in Switzerland – Zurich, Berne, Basel City, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Lausanne and Geneva – have all joined in this appeal. Cities like Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Wil (SG) have joined, as have smaller municipalities. Here you will find extracts of three smaller municipalities that have already joined the appeal. All of them call on the federal authorities to do more to stop the distress on the Aegean islands and declare their willingness to take refugees from there. This is not just a moral statement, but a concrete offer which the Federal Council should accept.

The municipalities are the foundation of our democracy!

The hope that the Federal Council would take note of the open attitude of these towns and municipalities has unfortunately not been fulfilled so far. For this reason, as many smaller towns and villages throughout Switzerland as possible should also make their voices heard. The more numerous these are, the more it becomes clear that there is a willingness everywhere in our country to help the refugees. At the same time, the chances are increasing that the Federal Council will finally come to its senses and act in a humane manner. The Federal Council could take action today. Contrary to what Federal Councillor Keller-Suter said, the legal foundations for this already exist today. This is why we, residents of the municipality XYZ, demand that our municipal authorities take action:

  • to agree to accept refugees from the Greek islands,
  • communicate this decision publicly and forward it to the Federal Council.

You can download the petition here and we ask you to become active in your circle of friends. Here you can download a feedback card or you can send us an email to the following address: ch@forumcivique.org. Thank you in advance for your commitment!


Press reports

Soutien des villes suisses à l’accueil de réfugiés. Argumentaire juridique et pétition

Une pétition en ce sens a été lancée fin juillet. S’appuyant sur le fait que la Suisse est composée de 2200 communes, que celles-ci sont au cœur de la politique de l’intégration, que le nombre de demandes d’asile depuis deux ans est historiquement bas, la pétition invite les citoyen-ne-s à s’adresser directement à leurs propres autorités communales pour qu’elles s’engagent à une aide concrète, chacune à leur mesure.