Tag Archives: referendum

WOLF: Swiss victory of biodiversity

More than half of Swiss voters (51.9%) have rejected changes to the hunting laws, proposed by the Parliament. The regulation of the wolf population as protected species, has been in the focus. (Image: @nywolforg courtesy).

The outcome clearly demonstrated that the Swiss wish to strengthen and not weaken species protection, pointed out Gabor von Bethlenfalvy, large carnivore specialist at WWF Switzerland, in a press release on Sunday, September 27.

He added that by saying no to the revised law, voters were saying yes to a compromise between hunting, regulation and protection. His group was one of many conservation and animal welfare groups to launch the referendum challenging Swiss lawmakers’ revisions to the law.

“Now parliament gets the chance to draft a progressive hunting and protection law that will continue to protect threatened animals such as lynx and beavers and not put them under even greater pressure,” von Bethlenfalvy underlined.

“With this decision, the voters have missed the opportunity to strengthen animal and species protection and to set clear rules for the coexistence of wolves and farm animals,” stated the Swiss farmers’ and hunters’ associations and the committee for mountain regions in a joint press release.

Leyen welcomes Swiss vote result

“Switzerland and the EU are more than just neighbours. We have very close and deep ties, rooted in a long, shared, European history. Geographical proximity plays a role of course, But, much more importantly, the close bonds between our citizens.About 1.4 million EU citizens live in Switzerland and 450,000 Swiss live in the EU. Another 320,000 EU citizens cross the border daily to work in Switzerland” said, w President von der Leyen, while reacting upon the result of the Swiss referendum regarding freedom of movement with the EU in favour of EU-Switzerland close ties.

“The citizens of Switzerland have shown today that they value these ties.
Their vote upholds one of the core pillars of our relationship: the mutual freedom to move, to live and to work in Switzerland and the EU.

“I welcome this outcome. I see it as a positive signal to continue to consolidate and deepen our relationship.
I will soon speak to Mrs Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation. I will congratulate her on this result. Of course, I look forward to the Swiss Federal Council now moving swiftly on the signature and ratification of the International Framework Agreement that we negotiated in 2018.

“I will reiterate this message I passed last January when we met in Davos”.

Swiss voters have refused a proposal to end an accord with the EU, allowing the free movement of people.
In the outcome of the referendum early 62% said they wished to keep free movement, while 38% were against.
Switzerland is not a member of the EU but has a series of interdependent treaties with the bloc which allow it to access to Europe’s free trade area.

The move to rein in immigration was proposed by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), but opposed by the government.
An initiative to introduce quotas on immigrants from the EU to Switzerland narrowly passed in a 2014 referendum, reflecting upon Swiss-EU relations.
Swiss people are given a direct say in their own affairs under the country’s system of direct democracy. They are regularly invited to vote on various issues in national or regional referendums.

Wolf: Swiss referendum

“To kill or not to kill?” That is the questions the Suisse will answer tomorrow in a referendum on hunting.
If the law is revised in the terms proposed by the Swiss Parliament, the cantons, which today can only authorise shooting at a wolf in the event of ‘significant damage’, will now be able to act in a preventive manner.

If the Swiss accept the revision of the law, the gamekeepers will be able to shoot isolated individuals who have lost their fierce character. They will be able to kill wolves living in a pack before damage occurs. however, cannot be shot if they keep away from herds and populated areas.

“The aim is to protect farm animals, farmed landscapes and human beings,” explains the committee supporting the law. They assure that the new text is more protective since “only three species can still be regulated, against nearly 300 previously: the wolf, the ibex and the mute swan”.

Why are conservationists against it?
Nature conservation associations, including Pro Natura, WWF Switzerland, BirdLife Switzerland, Zoosuisse and the Loup Suisse group, opposed the reform and obtained this referendum. According to the Swiss Greens, “it would then be possible to shoot protected animals when there is only a probability that they will cause damage and not in the event of actual damage, which removes any incentive to take preventive measures to protect the herds “.
Environmentalists believe that “preventive measures – not ‘preventive fire’, such as supporting herd protection, should be stepped up to avoid conflict with predators.”

On this side of the border too, the revision of the law is the subject of debate. It must be said that wild animals in general and wolves in particular do not care about the demarcation lines drawn by men.

Wildlife photographer from Haut-Doubs now living in Switzerland, Alain Prêtre denounces, for example, “a law of slaughter” which threatens both the lynx and the ibex.

Twenty-five years after his official return to Switzerland, the wolf has settled down for a long time. On September 27, 2020, the Swiss population is called upon to vote on the revision of the hunting law, following a referendum launched by Pro Natura, WWF, Birdlife, the Swiss Wolf Group and Zoosuisse. The latter might facilitate, among other things, the conditions for regulating firing.

“It is a real disaster: the revision of the hunting law (LChP) is totally inappropriate and endangers the protection of the species as a whole”, the WWF said. “Animals like the lynx, beaver, gray heron and wolf, which have always been found in Switzerland, could be shot without ever having done any damage – simply because they exist. This is why Pro Natura, WWF Switzerland, BirdLife Switzerland, the Swiss Wolf Group and the zoos of Switzerland have launched a referendum”.

The revision of the law no longer does justice to the balanced compromise between protection, regulation and hunting, but above all proposes a unilateral change which operates to the detriment of endangered species. Protected species such as the lynx, beaver and mute swan can be placed on the list of species that can be regulated at any time, along with the wolf and ibex. Thus, these animals can be shot simply as a preventive measure, that is to say without even damage being attributable to them. With this new law, it is no longer mandatory to take precautionary measures (such as protecting herds in areas where wolves live), before having the right to slaughter animals. Many protected species are likely to come into conflict with certain human interests and therefore constitute potential candidates for the list of species that can be regulated.

Dealing with such conflicts of interest between conservation of species and interests of use is a delicate business. This new law is in no way fair to face this challenge. It serves a unilateral interest: during the revision of the law, the positive impact of protected species on the ecosystem was completely obscured. Wolves and lynxes, for example, improve the health of wildlife, and grazing damage in nurseries has also decreased. In addition, these species offer new prospects for tourism.

In short, this new law poses a fundamental societal question: how much space are we prepared to give nature?
The vote of May 17, 2020 has been postponed, the new date is September 27, 2020 due to the pandemic restrictions.

Europarl has no comment on Russian referendum

Statement by Members of the European Parliament David McAllister and Tomas Tobé on the constitutional referendum in Russia.

“A constitutional referendum took place in Russia from 25 June to 1 July.

The European Parliament has not been invited to observe this electoral process, and consequently will neither comment on the process nor on the results that will be announced afterwards. No individual Member of the European Parliament has been mandated to observe or comment on this electoral process on its behalf.

Therefore, any Member of the European Parliament who decided to observe this electoral process in the Russian Federation, or in the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, where the European Union does not and will not recognise the holding of this consultation, has done so on her/his own initiative and should under no circumstances through any statement or action, associate her/his participation with the European Parliament.”

Mr McAllister (EPP, DE) and Mr Tobé (EPP, SE) are Co-Chairs of the European Parliament’s Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group.

Image: European Parliament building, Strasbourg

Loiseau against II Brexit referendum

The former French Minister of European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau expressed her point of view “in a personal capacity“about holding a second Brexit referendum. In her option that would be a “denial of democracy”.
Confusion remains on the future of the EU departure from the bloc as the subject divides the British lawmakers and the British government, a few weeks before the scheduled exit date of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a short delay to April 12 has been proposed from member-states.

I am personally hostile to a new referendum now because I think it would be a denial of democracy,” said Nathalie Loiseau on BFM TV, who left the government  a day before to lead the list of the LaRem party (“Republic on March” of President Macron) in the 26 May European elections.

The former minister blamed the current “chaos” on the “simplistic slogans” infused into debate by the supporters of Brexit during the campaign that preceded the June 23, 2016 referendum.

Corbyn favours II referendum

Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, leader will back a second referendum on Brexit after Westminster defeated its alternative plan for leaving the European Union, he said.

While no-deal Brexit is looming  both Prime Minister Theresa May and her major opponent Jeremy Corbyn have been introducing changes to their positions, however none of them has won the hearts of the majority.

Corbyn, who initially voted against in referendum on European Community (Common Market) membership (1975), and gave only reluctant backing to campaign ‘ to remain in the EU, this week gave ‘green light’ for the second referendum.

The Brexiteers camp insists the best plan is to leave first, and to negotiate afterwards, believing “Leave means leave”.

 

Farage ready to lead The Brexit Party

A new party aiming to struggle for Article 50 implementation and subsequent withdrawal of the UK from the European Union in accordance with the result of the referendum has been registered with the Electoral Commission today by the Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage, 

The group, called “The Brexit Party“, could attract Conservative activists disillusioned with Prime minister Theresa May handling of the withdrawal.

The party could start activities if EU departure is delayed from its scheduled date of March 29, with ex-UKIP  chair Nigel Farage likely to seek a return to leadership.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph  Mr.Farage claimed “a significant amount of money has been pledged to the Brexit Party if it is forced to take part in an election”.

The engine is running,” he wrote. “In defence of democracy, we stand ready for battle.”

AMENDED 10/02/2019

Gibraltar: “colony” or not?

The UK complained about the European Union (EU) calling Gibraltar a “colony” in a piece of draft legislation, highlighting how Brussels institutions bend to Madrid in its centuries-long claim of the Rock.

According to the diplomatic sources Britain’s ambassador to the EU had objected to the wording of the text,  defining the 33,000 inhabitants of Gibraltar in a different category from UK and it also spelled out Spain’s claim to sovereignty over The Rock at the United Nations.

Gibraltar is a colony of the British Crown. There is a controversy between Spain and the United Kingdom concerning the sovereignty over Gibraltar“, the EU text reads.

Downing street 10 spokesman insisted Gibraltar was not a “colony”. The port was ceded to Britain by Spain in 1713 as a part of “Utrecht Treaty”, was a “crown colony” when Britain joined the European bloc in 1973 but London assessed it as a “British overseas territory” in 2002.

Gibraltar is not a colony and it is completely inappropriate to describe in this way,” a British spokesperson said. “Gibraltar is a full part of the UK family.”

There were two referendums in Gibraltar, both of them strongly indicated that the inhabitant of The Rock don’t agree to any changes, and are interested to preserve the status quo.

AMENDED:

Merkel wishes Brexit on “good terms”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said  she wanted the UK and the European Union to part on good terms.

I care now that we and Britain divorce in a good process so that afterwards we can still work closely together in the areas where we must cooperate – on defense, on domestic security, on policing, on combating terrorism, and in trade too, and so that Britain can take part in our research projects if they want,Merkel said.

MEPs offer UK to reverse Brexit

If there is no way forward because the Westminster rejected the negotiated Brexit deal with the EU MEPs offer to reverse the process, they have also underlined that they are prepared to give the additional time to Britons to consider the II referendum to break the political deadlock, consulting people.

It is exactly the scenario Nigel Farage UKIP MEP presumes the EU27 had in mind when imposing Irish border “backstop”, and the other conditions, impossible to accept by the UK lawmakers. The hard Brexit, and leaving the bloc under the WTO rules is the only way forwards, the MEP said. The major objection to the current deal is it indefinite timetable, removing intensives for negotiating the future trade agreement between the EU27 and the UK.

 

 

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