Russian and foreign spies will be systematically expelled from Switzerland –

Russian and foreign spies will be systematically expelled from Switzerland –
Russian and foreign spies will be systematically expelled from Switzerland –

The war in Ukraine will once again mark the next session of the Federal Chambers. The Center will thus attack the S protection status issued to Ukrainians and wants a tightening of the conditions for granting it. Senator Benedikt Würth wants to combat abuses in the field and denounces in a motion “tourism” of S status. The Federal Council and the left will oppose it.

>> Read also: More than 90,000 S statuses have been given to Ukrainians in two years

The idea of ​​creating a fund for the security of Switzerland and peace in Europe outside the ordinary budget, endowed with 10 billion for all arms purchases until 2030 and 5 billion for the reconstruction of Ukraine will also be at the center of attention. This proposal from the Center, which received the support of the left and the PVL in committee, is not guaranteed to win the plenum.

Still with Ukraine in the background, the army will be the subject of a sustained exchange of arms between right and left in the Council of States during the discussion on the 2024 message. The competent committee is demanding an additional 660 million for a ground-to-air defense system and an increase in the military spending ceiling of 4 billion.

>> The issues of the session in the 12:30 p.m.:

Kick-off of the summer session of the Federal Chambers for three weeks of debates / 12:30 p.m. / 1 ​​min. / today at 12:35

Debates on refugees

The army’s finances will not be the only thing to be disputed. As part of the supplement to the 2024 budget, the Federal Council is requesting an increase of more than 600 million francs, including 255 million intended for asylum and the reception of refugees from Ukraine.

>> Read also: The Federal Council requests 255 million more francs for asylum

Asylum and migration will also be at the heart of parliamentary debates and first and foremost the toughening desired by the right. The Federal Council is demanding an additional 255 million francs from the budget for migration.

The National Council will get to the heart of the matter on the first day of the summer session. Already postponed twice, the debate on the asylum procedure for Afghan women will finally be held on Monday May 27.

Given the situation in the country since the return to power of the Taliban, the Confederation recently relaxed the practice, allowing Afghan women to submit a new application for asylum when they are already living in Switzerland through provisional admission. A change that does not go down well with the UDC and the PLR, who are demanding a return to the old practice in a motion. But the Chamber could ultimately opt for a compromise which requires that these files always be treated on a case-by-case basis.

The PLR ​​and the UDC will also be allied to support a motion from Senator Petra Gössi (PLR/SZ), which calls for Switzerland to conclude a transit agreement with a third country to send back rejected Eritrean asylum seekers. A somewhat similar text, inspired by the controversial practice between the United Kingdom and Rwanda, narrowly failed at the National last year.

>> Read also: Commission calls for agreement with third country to expel rejected Eritrean applicants

Federal finances and digitalization of the health system

In the tense context of federal finances, the government is also planning drastic budgetary measures from 2025. The main one is the reduction of the Confederation’s contribution to unemployment insurance by 1.25 billion francs. Without impact for policyholders according to the Federal Council, the proposal should be opposed by the left at National.

The government is also seeking to save in training and culture, two areas for which funding programs over four years, until 2028, are coming to the table of parliament. And the planned cuts will be hotly debated.

Health will not be forgotten during the session: the Council of States should endorse without further ado the DigiSanté program of nearly 400 million francs, which must support the digitalization of the health system over 10 years. The Chamber of Cantons will also examine the vast second package of measures from the Federal Council aimed at curbing the rise in health costs. That of the people had weakened its scope by refusing healthcare networks in particular.

As in each session, various issues will still be debated, from medicine packaging to double names at marriage, through subsidies for the 2025 women’s football Euro, the control of funds intended for NGOs active in Palestine, the expulsion of Russian spies or even the breeding of snails.

Finally, note that the federal votes on June 9 will take place in the middle of the session, which will also fuel discussions in Parliament.

>> See the file of the federal votes of June 9: Federal votes of June 9


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