Oligarch Taskforce And Extremist Symbols To Be Discussed In Special Session

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Switzerland's participation in the taskforce in connection with sanctions against Russia, a ban on extremist symbols and dozens of motions are the topics of the three-day special session of the House of Representatives, which begins on Monday.

This content was published on April 15, 2024 - 11:00 4 minutes Keystone-SDA
  • Português pt Força-tarefa para oligarcas e símbolos extremistas serão discutidos em sessão especial Read more: Força-tarefa para oligarcas e símbolos extremistas serão discutidos em sessão especial

Special sessions are organised by the Federal Assembly when there is not enough time in the ordinary sessions to deal with their business. Special sessions can also be organised by only one chamber. Unlike the House of Representatives, the Senate does not have to sit in“detention”.

The most important items of business are not on the agenda until Wednesday. These include the motion by Franziska Ryser from the Green Party which calls for participation in the international taskforce to track down Russian oligarch money. The responsible committee voted in favour by a narrow majority.

The majority is of the opinion that Switzerland must do more to ensure that the sanctions against Russia are fully implemented. The minority believes that the current cooperation with the taskforce is working sufficiently well. It also has concerns about Switzerland's independence.

More More Russia sanctions: Switzerland must do more, says committee

This content was published on Mar 27, 2024 A Swiss parliamentary committee has backed a call for Switzerland to join the international REPO taskforce coordinating western sanctions against Russia.

Read more: Russia sanctions: Switzerland must do more, says committee

The government also rejects the motion and refers to Switzerland's contacts with international bodies that deal with the implementation of sanctions against Russia following the attack on Ukraine in February 2022.

Ban on symbols of violence

Also on the third day of the session, the House of Representatives will debate a ban on publicly used extremist, racist and violence-glorifying symbols on the basis of three motions. The Legal Affairs Committee wants to ban Nazi symbols and, in a second step, other violent symbols.

Symbols relating to National Socialism and the Third Reich are easier to identify than other extremist symbols, writes the Commission. It sees this step-by-step approach as a compromise offer to the Senate, which has spoken out in favour of a more comprehensive regulation.

Today, symbols are punishable if they are used to promote a racist ideology. To date, parliament has not wanted a total ban, in particular due to the difficulty of defining the symbols to be banned.

More More Banning Nazi salutes in Switzerland deemed legally complicated

This content was published on Dec 15, 2022 The Swiss authorities say it's possible to ban Nazi symbols or gestures but such a change would encounter“major legal and editorial obstacles”.

Read more: Banning Nazi salutes in Switzerland deemed legally complicated

Also on the agenda for the third day is a restriction on the right to lodge complaints by organisations. Environmental organisations should no longer be allowed to lodge complaints against smaller residential construction projects in building zones. Heritage and landscape conservationists want to defend themselves against the Environment Commission's proposal.

The majority of the Environment Commission wants to make changes to the Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Act to prevent parties with very different resources from being pitted against each other in appeal proceedings. The government supports the proposals, including the exceptions for important sites or biotopes, for example.

Discussion on legislative planning

On Tuesday the House of Representatives will discuss the political agenda until the end of 2027. In addition to relations with the European Union, finances and climate protection, the government wants to prioritise artificial intelligence (AI), crisis management, energy supply and the reconstruction of Ukraine in its legislative planning.

For the remainder of the special session, the House of Representatives intends to carry out parliamentary procedural requests. It has lists of motions and postulates from several departments.

Translated from German by DeepL/ts

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  • Russia sanctions: Switzerland must do more, says committee
  • Banning Nazi salutes in Switzerland deemed legally complicated

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