Plan to give citizenship to expats born in Switzerland rejected by parliament
A new law that would grant citizenship to those born in Switzerland when they turn 18 has been rejected by the National Council. The decision means the alpine nation remains one of the few countries in the world where citizenship is not a birthright.
Being born in Switzerland does not guarantee citizenship
Under current rules, people born in Switzerland to parents that hold residence permits are not automatically granted citizenship. This means that many internationals may have gone to school and higher education in Switzerland, integrated into society, and lived and worked their entire lives in the alpine nation without gaining a Swiss passport. Opponents argue being born in Switzerland doesn't make you Swiss
In March 2021, a group of National Councillors submitted a plan to give people who were born in Switzerland the right to citizenship when they turn 18. After significant debate and revision, the motion was voted on in parliament on Wednesday.
Opponents argue being born in Switzerland doesn't make you Swiss
Despite having the backing of all left-wing parties in the chamber, the law was rejected by 112 votes to 75. According to National Councillor Jean-Luc Addor, Switzerland "must stick to our tradition of the right of blood.”
“Experience shows it: the simple fact of being born in Switzerland and having grown up here is not always enough to guarantee integration,” he added. Concluding the debate, Addor said that differences exist between “men, between women, between Swiss and between foreigners, that's just how it is!"
National Councillor Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini countered this opinion in an interview 20 minuten: “A child who is born in Switzerland, speaks the language with the accent of their region, and has gone to school here, should be able to benefit from the nationality of the country where they grew up... It’s just common sense."