How Switzerland voted in the May referendums 2022

How Switzerland voted in the May referendums 2022

On May 15, Swiss citizens voted on the latest round of national referendums. In a clean sweep for the government, all three national votes were approved by the public, meaning each law will be enacted upon in the coming weeks.

Organ donation law change gets majority in Switzerland

In one of the biggest results of the night, a clear majority of voters backed the plan to switch organ donation rules from consent to “presumed consent” - where patients must clearly indicate their opposition to donating their organs upon death, instead of giving consent. Advocates say that the move will boost organ donation rates and save lives in Swiss hospitals and healthcare.

The vote won 60,2 percent support nationally, with the idea only being rejected in Schaffhausen, both Appenzells and Schwyz. The referendum garnered a particularly strong following in French-speaking areas, with Canton Vaud, Neuchâtel and the city of Geneva all giving the referendum more than 76 percent support.

Frontex referendum passes without incident

The government were also buoyed by the success of the Frontex referendum. In the lead-up to the poll, experts and officials within the European Union were concerned that if Switzerland were to reject the expansion and funding of Frontex - the Schengen border agency - the country might crash out of Schengen altogether.

Luckily for them, the vote gained a majority in all Swiss cantons, with 71,5 percent support overall. Geneva proved to be the place with the stiffest opposition to Frontex, but still passed the law with a majority.

Lex Netflix vote the closest referendum in Switzerland in May 2022

Finally, in what was the closest result of the night, voters gave their consent to the so-called “Lex Netflix” law. Under current law, broadcasters in Switzerland must give at least 4 percent of their income to Swiss filmmakers, in order to support domestic films and TV shows.

The Lex Netflix vote recognised the fact that many families and individuals use streaming services to watch their favourite shows alongside or even instead of regular TV. To ensure a consistent supply of income to Swiss films, advocates called for large companies like Netflix to also contribute to Swiss filmmaking. Alongside the financial contribution, the law would require that at least 30 percent of streaming content available in Switzerland be produced in Europe.

In the voting, Lex Netflix managed to achieve a majority, garnering 58,4 percent of the vote and winning all but seven cantons. As a consequence of the vote, Netflix and other streaming giants will now be contributing to the latest Swiss blockbusters.

Swiss referendums May 2022 results

Here are the Swiss referendum results for May 2022 in full:

Organ transplant - presumed consent results: 

  • Total votes: 2.191.383
  • Votes in favour: 1.319.262 (60,2 percent)
  • Votes against: 872.121 (39,8 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 22
  • Cantons against: 4

Funding European Frontex border agency referendum results:

  • Total votes: 2.130.670
  • Votes in favour: 1.523.003 (71,5 percent)
  • Votes against: 607.667 (28,5 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 26
  • Cantons against: 0

Reform film law "Lex Netflix" results:

  • Total votes: 2.148.401
  • Votes in favour: 1.255.032 (58,4, percent)
  • Votes against: 893.369 (41,6 percent)
  • Cantons in favour: 19
  • Cantons against: 7

Find out more about the next Swiss referendums

The next set of Swiss national referendums are due to take place on September 25, 2022. For more information on the next round of elections, check out the official government website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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