No “walls up policy”, but a commandment of the hour, not only for Switzerland

… Winter session 2016 – Published on Current Concerns, by Dr iur Marianne Wüthrich, Dec 13, 2016.

On 29 November 2016, the (Swiss) Council of States reviewed the Popular initiative “For Food Security”. The initiative was submitted by the Swiss Farmers’ Union (SBV) on 8 July 2014 with nearly 150,000 valid signatures collected in only three months.1 On 9 March 2016, the National Council voted – against the proposals of the Federal Council and the National Council Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxation (CEAT-N) – to support this initiative (with 91 votes in favour, 83 against and 19 abstentions). After that, the committee of the Council of States (CEAT-S) drew up a counter draft.2 Although the objective of this was widely different from the approach of the people’s initiative, the Council of States adopted it without amendments on 29 November 2016 (with 38 ayes against 4 nays) and recommended the people’s initiative for rejection. So the bill has now been passed back to the National Council … //

… Counter draft is to handle the three people’s initiatives all in one go:

Anyone who compares the counter proposal of the council of States Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxation (CEAT-S) with the initiative text will find only one content-related conformity: The Confederation is to take measures to safeguard against the loss of cultivated land (i.e. soil and land cultivated and used by agriculture). On the other hand, the main focus of the people’s initiative on Food Security, i.e. the strengthening of domestic production of foodstuffs and the highest possible level of self-sufficiency, does not appear in the counter proposal. In its report of 24 January 2015, the Federal Council even criticises the fact that “the initiative is one-sided and unbalanced because it is focused too much on domestic production.”5 Objection! The people’s initiative focuses on the point that is important to its initiators. It is precisely the purpose of the right of initiative that citizens will be able to demand that which they miss in the authorities’ policy … //

… All three initiatives would prevent an agricultural agreement with the EU and Switzerland’s link-up to TTIP: … //

… Based on these facts, the following further action strategies are to be recommended:

The National Council and its committee (CEAT-N) should reject the CEAT-S­ counter draft because it targets very different goals from those of the initiative.
The three Initiative Committees should support each other in the referendum campaign because each of their initiatives has better chances if they are mutually supportive! It would not lead to the desired result if one committee stood up against the others – in the erroneous belief that this would benefit its own initiative …
The Initiative Committee and the Swiss Farmers’ Union should in no case withdraw their initiative “For Food Security” in favour of a counter proposal that would not only not prevent the decline of farming but, on the contrary, even accelerate it.
150,000 citizens have signed their initiative because they want to secure the survival of a strong Swiss production and greater independence from abroad concerning our food supplies. The Swiss Farmers’ Union has to prove itself worthy of this, the public’s great confidence in them.

(full text, notes).

  • down, on the same page (and URL): Text of the initiative, Art. 104a (amended) Food Security …;

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Don’t Wait for the Next War – Wesley Clark, 83.46 min, uploaded by Politics and Prose, Nov 4, 2014;

#IRAQTRIBUNAL, the People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, on Iraq, by Code Pink, Dec 1-2, 2016;

Global Impact Economy Forum – General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), 26.32 min, uploaded by Georgetown McDonough, April 27, 2012 … the Global Impact Economy Forum gathered 250 high-level investors, business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and policymakers to discuss how to create greater coordination, collaboration, and efficiency in this emerging industry …;

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