Ballot of November 29 – Economy relieved of “no”, a “signal” for supporters

Despite the failure of the initiative “for responsible companies”, the fact that it was accepted by the people and only rejected by the cantons sends “a warning signal”.

Chantal Peyer, member of the responsible multinationals initiative committee, calls with her smartphone from her office in the premises of the NGO “Pain pour le Next”.


The economic circles and the parties of the center and right are mostly relieved by the rejection by the majority of the cantons of the initiative “for responsible companies”. Disappointed, the partisan camp welcomes the large mobilization and sees it as a strong signal.

“This result is a great relief, as the initiative created uncertainty for the entire Swiss economic fabric, including SMEs,” said Romandie director of economiesuisse Cristina Gaggini at Keystone-ATS. It would also have deteriorated the relationship with other States by interfering in their sovereignty.

According to her, the counter-project is sufficient and sharply targets priority problems. An opinion shared by the president of economiesuisse Christoph Mäder, who notes that companies will now implement their strategies for a more sustainable behavior.

For the Swiss Union of Arts and Crafts (USAM), the result shows that the Swiss people refuse to attempt experiments and introduce special regulations in the current period. “Swiss companies should not be unnecessarily penalized in the face of international competition”.

No rider alone

On the right of the political spectrum, the PLR ​​is delighted that Switzerland “is not going it alone at the international level, which would have placed our companies in front of many challenges”. The counter-project initiated by Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter, “was more convincing than the false images of the initiators’ campaign”.

The UDC sees in the tight result of the vote “an alarm signal” to the address of economic organizations and central parties, in relation to their “dangerous links with the left”. For the party, “it is time that these circles remembered again the true liberal values”.

The UDC is however relieved to note that the Swiss citizens did not yield to the “moralizing blackmail of the initiators”. The text would have seriously damaged the Swiss economy and threatened thousands of jobs.

The PDC for its part is delighted that the counter-draft can now enter into force. According to him, this tool represents the most effective way to implement the objectives of the initiative, shared by the party.

No “blank check”

On the left, the PS says it is very disappointed with the result, but sees it as a strong signal to economic circles. “No blank check will be tolerated and multinationals must assume their responsibilities.”

Member of the initiative committee, the former president of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey says she is “disappointed to fail so close to the goal”. She still salutes Keystone-ATS an “incredible mobilization and a result for which we have nothing to be ashamed of”.

With this rejection, Switzerland risks being “once again last time, as was the case with money laundering or banking secrecy,” writes Dick Marty (PLR / TI).

Amnesty International, one of the many organizations to support the text, notes that Switzerland missed an opportunity to impose effective regulations on multinationals to oblige them to protect human rights and the environment. However, the NGO considers that the “yes” of the people constitutes a historic success and a call to the Federal Council and Parliament.

The subject is not closed

The tight result shows that part of the voters want multinationals and a responsible financial center, say the Greens. The people’s “yes” to the initiative means that the counter-project cannot close the subject. Developments in Europe show that Switzerland will sooner or later be obliged to legislate so that its companies comply with environmental standards and human rights abroad.

The Swiss Trade Union Union (USS) believes that it will take at word the promises of opponents during the campaign – who claimed to support the objectives of the initiative – and verify that they are kept. It will insist on a consistent implementation of the counter-project and will undertake to ensure that popular support is reflected in the drafting of the ordinance.

The Liberal Greens also regret the “no” to the initiative and explain this result by concerns related to legal insecurity for SMEs. The strong support for the initiative is a strong signal that must be listened to by the political class, believes the party.


Posted today at 5:12 p.m.

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