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Vote on 13 February 2022: two initiatives and two referendums

11 January 2022

On 13 February 2022, Swiss voters will go to the polls over four federal proposals: two popular initiatives – “Yes to a ban on human and animal experiments” and “Yes to protecting children and young people from tobacco advertising” – plus referendums opposing the law on stamp duty and on the media law.

The “Yes to a ban on human and animal experiments” initiative


The first proposal, the “Yes to a ban on human and animal experiments” initiative, calls for a ban on experiments involving animals and on imports of products tested on animals. Human testing would also be banned under the proposal. Furthermore, the initiative demands the same level of government support for research that does not involve animal experiments as for research that involves such experiments.

The positions

The Federal Council and parliament argue that a ban on animal experimentation would place Switzerland at a massive disadvantage. People and animals would no longer enjoy the benefits of many new medical treatments, including vaccines. Research and development would be heavily impacted and jobs jeopardised, maintain the Federal Council and parliament.

The initiative comitee deem experiments on humans and animals to be indefensible. They argue that no animal or person can provide predictable outcomes for another living creature and they claim the researchers involved in such experiments could employ working methods that do not involve suffering.

More information on the Federal Council website.

The votes of 13 February 2022

Overview in the "Swiss Review"

Discussion in the SwissCommunity forum

Discuss in the forum with other Swiss Abroad on the "Yes to a ban on animal and human experiments" initiative.

Article of SWI swissinfo.ch

Switzerland to vote again on animal testing ban (22 December 2021)

“Yes to protecting children and young people from tobacco advertising” initiative


The initiative aims to ban tobacco advertising wherever it would be visible to children or young people. For example, this would cover the press, posters, the internet, cinemas, kiosks and events. The same rules would apply to e-cigarettes. Advertising would only be allowed where it can be seen exclusively by adults and in places that are closed to minors.

The positions

The Federal Council and parliament think the initiative goes too far. They offer an indirect counterproposal: the federal act on tobacco products. Under this law, tobacco and e-cigarette advertising would be banned on posters and in the cinema. Advertising in kiosks, the press and internet would still be allowed, provided it did not target minors.

The proposal's initiators want to ensure tobacco advertising is invisible to minors. They argue that their initiative is the only way to protect young people effectively. The counterproposal would still enable children and young people to see tobacco adverts.

More information on the Federal Council website

The votes of 13 February 2022

Overview in the "Swiss Review"

Discussion in the SwissCommunity forum

Discuss in the forum with other Swiss Abroad on the “Yes to protecting children and young people from tobacco advertising” initiative.

Article of SWI swissinfo.ch

Explainer: Swiss voters to decide on anti-tobacco advert initiative (20 December 2021)

Amendment of the Federal Act Stamp Duties


The Federal Council and parliament want to abolish the issuance stamp duty, the third proposal coming to a vote on 13 February 2022. That means companies would no longer be liable for tax when they raise new equity. According to the Federal Council and parliament, this would lower investment costs, thus supporting growth and creating jobs. Abolishing stamp duty would cost the federal government an estimated 250 million francs a year. The referendum opposes this legislative change.

The positions

The Federal Council and parliament argue that abolishing stamp duty would increase Switzerland’s appeal as an international business location. Moreover, it would facilitate growth as well as create and secure jobs. They also claim the government can withstand the loss of income.

The referendum commitee claims that the main beneficiaries would be international corporations, banks and insurers. Ordinary people, on the other hand, would gain nothing. In fact, they would lose out through having to pay higher taxes.

More information on the Federal Council website.

The votes of 13 February 2022

Overview in the "Swiss Review"

Discussion in the SwissCommunity forum

Discuss in the forum with other Swiss Abroad on the referendum against the Amendment of the Federal Act Stamp Duties.

Article of SWI swissinfo.ch

Swiss to vote on abolishing stamp duty on big companies (21 December 2021)

Federal Act on a Package of Measures to benefit the Media


The media (especially local and regional) is under financial pressure as advertising income flows increasingly to the major global internet platforms. The number of different newspapers in circulation has been falling for years. The Federal Council and parliament now want to strengthen local and regional media. The federal government already subsidises the delivery of subscription newspapers. This support would be expanded to cover titles with a large circulation that are delivered early in the morning. Online media would also benefit, as would local radio stations and regional television channels. The referendum is in opposition to this law.

The positions

The Federal Council and parliament want to stop newspapers and private radio stations disappearing by giving more support to the media. Media diversity matters, as much for keeping people informed as for supporting direct democracy.

The referendum commitee sees this measure as a waste of taxpayers’ money that would only benefit wealthy publishers. They argue that the media would just become a mouthpiece for the government and that direct democracy depends on independent media.

More information on the Federal Council website.

The votes of 13 February 2022

Overview in the "Swiss Review"

Discussion in the SwissCommunity forum

Discuss in the forum with other Swiss Abroad on the referendum on the Federal Act on a Package of Measures to benefit the Media.

Article of SWI swissinfo.ch

Voters to decide on more state aid for Swiss media (23 December 2021)
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