February 14, 2019

by Prof. Markus Kern / Tobias Egli, University of Bern Construction activity in Switzerland is intense: Every day, the equivalent of eight soccer pitches is newly covered with buildings. The increasing concern about the phenomenon of urban sprawl has already had tangible political consequences in recent years: In 2012 the so called «Second Home Initiative» was accepted on the federal level, banning the construction of second homes in municipalities with a proportion of second homes exceeding 20%. In the same year the voters of the Canton of Zurich accepted the so called «Arable Land Initiative» aiming at the protection of arable land in the canton.

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Swiss votations on February 9, 2020

by Prof. Markus Kern / Fabian Schmid, University of Bern

On February 9, 2020, two proposals were up for decision by the Swiss electorate:
– the Popular Initiative claiming “more affordable homes” as well as
– a referendum concerning a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in criminal law
The Popular Initiative was rejected by 57.1% of the Swiss population and by all but 4½ of the cantons, whereas the amendment of criminal law was clearly accepted by a majority of 63.1% of the voters. Electoral turnout was at 41.7% resp. 40.9%.

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Illiberal constitutionalism 2 – constraints on public power

by Tímea Drinóczi, Professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law, Hungary

Illiberal states emerging in Europe, such as Hungary and Poland, are still constitutional democracies, which are shaped peacefully by populist politicians from a more substantial form of constitutional democracy that prioritizes (liberal) constitutional values through the use of populist style of governance, abusive constitutionalism, and autocratic legalism.[1] In our cases, the minimum requirements of a constitutional democracy, such as the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, have been defectively worded in a constitution, or poorly implemented or enforced.

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