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«Stop death on the Mediterranean!»

Motion 19.3479
Level: Confederation
Canton: AG
Status: Rejected


09.05.19: Submission of the motion

“The Federal Council is mandated to take urgent measures to ensure that people in distress are rescued in the Mediterranean and that human rights are respected.

In particular, Switzerland:

1 participate in the establishment of a civil sea rescue system organised and financed by Europe;
2 support a distribution mechanism for people rescued at sea based on humanitarian and constitutional principles;
3 provide appropriate support to communities which agree to take in boat refugees;
4 work for the immediate release of all detainees in Libya and support their reception through the UN Resettlement Programme.”


21.08.19: The Federal Council moves that the motion be rejected.

“1 The questions concerning the establishment of a rescue system and the continuation of existing operations are currently the subject of controversial discussions between the European states. The EU mission for the sea rescue of migrants and for combating networks of smugglers in the Mediterranean (Eunavfor Med Sophia) has been continued without a naval component since March 2019. In discussions at European level, Switzerland is committed to respecting human rights, the Geneva Convention on Refugees and the principle of non-refoulement.
2 For several years, discussions have been underway at EU level on the reform of the Dublin system and the introduction of a distribution mechanism for migrants. The reform is making little progress because various EU member states reject a distribution mechanism. In January 2019, the European Commission submitted a proposal that provides for a “temporary arrangement”. This should serve as a bridge solution until the new Dublin system comes into force. However, to date the EU has not yet decided on the concrete implementation of this proposal. Switzerland considers that such a transitional solution would not fill the gaps in the existing system and could at best delay the finding of a structural solution at European level. It therefore remains committed at EU level to a better distribution of responsibilities among the States and to the search for lasting solutions to the current migration situation.
Switzerland accepts refugees voluntarily: Based on Article 56 of the Asylum Act (AsylG, SR 142.31), it grants asylum to particularly vulnerable persons within the framework of the UNHCR’s Resettlement Programme. The Federal Council has allocated a quota of 800 persons for 2019. The distribution of resettlement refugees among the municipalities is the responsibility of the cantons. For each refugee, the Confederation pays the cantons a global lump sum. In accordance with the regulation that came into force on 1 March 2019 (Art. 88 para. 3bis AsylG and Art. 24a para. 1 of the Asylum Ordinance 2 on financial matters, AsylV 2; SR 142.312), the Confederation will pay the global lump sum for (resettlement) refugees for the duration of the new seven-year period. Those communes which receive resettlement refugees are thus already indirectly supported by the payment of the global lump sums by the Confederation to the cantons. Resettlement refugees, like all other recognised refugees and provisionally admitted persons, will also benefit from the amendment to the Ordinance which came into force on 1 May 2019 and which increased the integration allowance. In the framework of the integration agenda for which these funds are allocated, individual case management and enhanced integration measures are provided for. The cantons are responsible for implementation in cooperation with the municipalities.
4 The Federal Council is deeply concerned about the situation of migrants detained near the combat zones. It supports the humanitarian activities of international organisations and relief agencies to alleviate the distress in detention centres. It welcomes the fact that the UNHCR regularly evacuates particularly vulnerable refugees from these detention centres and recently responded to an urgent appeal by this organisation with a contribution of CHF 500 000. Switzerland is also funding an IOM project for the protection and medical care of detained migrants.
Following an urgent appeal by the UNHCR in April 2019, Switzerland has made up to 50 places in the current resettlement programme available for evacuations from Libya. Various options for implementing these evacuations are currently being examined in cooperation with the UNHCR.”


06.01.20: 25.000 signatures of the petition “Stop Dying in the Mediterranean” are handed over by the Solinetze in support of the petition


09.12.20: rejection by the National Council

Press reports

Das Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer stoppen!
Le 7 janvier, des représentants de Solinetzte.ch et du réseau migrationscharta.ch ont remis à la Chancellerie fédérale de Berne une pétition intitulée “Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer stoppen!”.

Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer stoppen – Petitionsübergabe
Près de 25 000 personnes ont signé la pétition, qui a été présentée hier à la Chancellerie fédérale à Berne.

Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer stoppen!
Dans le programme d’information d’aujourd’hui, nous parlons de la motion et de la pétition “Sterben auf dem Mittelmeer stoppen!” et, avec un sommelier de l’eau, de leur profession.

Petition für die Seenotrettung