Section 6. Energy and Communications
Article 89. Energy policy
- Within the scope of their powers, the Confederation and Cantons shall endeavour to ensure a sufficient, diverse, safe, economic and environmentally sustainable energy supply as well as the economic and efficient use of energy.
- The Confederation shall establish principles on the use of local and renewable energy sources and on the economic and efficient use of energy.
- The Confederation shall legislate on the use of energy by installations, vehicles and appliances. It shall encourage the development of energy technologies, in particular in the fields of saving energy and the renewable energy sources.
- The Cantons shall be primarily responsible for measures relating to the use of energy in buildings.
- The Confederation shall take account in its energy policy of the efforts made by the Cantons, the communes and the business community; it shall take account of the conditions in the individual regions of the country and the limitations of what is economically feasible.
Article 90. Nuclear energy
The Confederation is responsible for legislation in the field of nuclear energy.
Article 91. Transport of energy
- The Confederation shall legislate on the transport and the supply of electrical energy.
- The Confederation is responsible for legislation on transmission and distribution systems for the transport of liquid or gaseous fuels.
Article 92. Postal and telecommunications services
- The Confederation is responsible for postal and telecommunications services.
- The Confederation shall ensure the adequate, universal and reasonably priced provision of postal and telecommunications services in all regions of the country. The rates shall be fixed according to standard principles.
Article 93. Radio and television
- The Confederation is responsible for legislation on radio and television as well as on other forms of public broadcasting of features and information.
- Radio and television shall contribute to education and cultural development, to the free shaping of opinion and to entertainment. They shall take account of the particularities of the country and the needs of the Cantons. They shall present events accurately and allow a diversity of opinions to be expressed appropriately.
- The independence of radio and television as well as their autonomy in deciding on programming is guaranteed.
- Account must be taken of the role and duties of other media, in particular the press.
- Complaints about programmes may be submitted to an independent complaints authority.
Section 7. The Economy
Article 94. Principles of the economic system
- The Confederation and the Cantons shall abide by the principle of economic freedom.
- They shall safeguard the interests of the Swiss economy as a whole and, together with the private sector, shall contribute to the welfare and economic security of the population.
- They shall endeavour to create favourable general conditions for the private sector in accordance with their responsibilities.
- Any divergence from the principle of economic freedom, and in particular measures designed to restrain competition, shall be permitted only if they are provided for in the Federal Constitution or based on cantonal monopoly rights.
Article 95. Professional activities in the private sector
- The Confederation may legislate on professional activities in the private sector.
- It shall seek to create a unified Swiss economic area. It shall guarantee that persons with an academic qualification or with a federal or cantonal educational qualification or an educational qualification recognised by a Canton are able to practise their profession throughout Switzerland.
- For the protection of the economy, private property and shareholders and to guarantee sustainable corporate governance, the law shall regulate Swiss companies limited by shares listed on stock exchanges in Switzerland and abroad in accordance with the following principles:
- the general meeting votes on an annual basis on the total amount of all remuneration (money and the value of benefits in kind) given to the board of directors, the executive board und the board of advisors. It elects on an annual basis the president of the board of directors, the individual members of the board of directors and the remuneration committee, and the independent proxy. Pension funds vote in the interests of their insured members and disclose how they have voted. Shareholders may vote remotely online; they may not be represented by a member of management or by a depositary bank;
- the members of management may not be given severance or similar payments, advance payments, bonuses for company purchases and sales, additional contracts as consultants to or employees of other companies in the group. The management of the company may not be delegated to a legal entity;
- the articles of association regulate the amount of credits, loans and pensions payable to members of management, their profit-sharing and equity participation plans and the number of mandates they may accept outside the group, as well as the duration of employment contracts of members of the executive board;
- Persons violating the provisions under letters a-c are liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty not exceeding six times their annual remuneration.
Article 96. Competition policy
- The Confederation shall legislate against the damaging effects in economic or social terms of cartels and other restraints on competition.
- It shall take measures
- to prevent abuses in price maintenance by dominant undertakings and private and public law organisations;
- against unfair competition.
Article 97. Consumer protection
- The Confederation shall take measures to protect consumers.
- It shall legislate on the legal remedies available to consumer organisations. These organisations shall have the same rights under the federal legislation on unfair competition as professional and trade associations.
- The Cantons shall provide a conciliation procedure or a simple and rapid court procedure for claims of up to a certain sum. The Federal Council determines this sum.
Article 98. Banks and insurance companies
- The Confederation shall legislate on the banking and stock exchange system; in doing so, it shall take account of the special function and role of the cantonal banks.
- It may legislate on financial services in other fields.
- It shall legislate on private insurance.
Article 99. Monetary policy
- The Confederation is responsible for money and currency; the Confederation has the exclusive right to issue coins and banknotes.
- The Swiss National Bank, as an independent central bank, shall pursue a monetary policy that serves the overall interests of the country; it shall be administered with the cooperation and under the supervision of the Confederation.
- The Swiss National Bank shall create sufficient currency reserves from its revenues; part of these reserves shall be held in gold.
- A minimum of two thirds of the net profits made by the Swiss National Bank shall be allocated to the Cantons.
Article 100. Economic policy
- The Confederation shall take measures to achieve balanced economic development, and in particular to prevent and combat unemployment and inflation.
- It shall take account of economic development in individual regions of the country. It shall cooperate with the Cantons and the business community.
- In the field of money and banking, in foreign economic affairs and in the field of public finance, the Confederation may if necessary depart from the principle of economic freedom.
- The Confederation, the Cantons and the communes shall take account of the economic situation in their revenue and expenditure policies.
- To stabilise the economic situation, the Confederation may temporarily levy surcharges or grant rebates on federal taxes and duties. The accumulated funds must be held in reserve; following their release, direct taxes shall be individually refunded, and indirect taxes used to grant rebates or to create jobs.
- The Confederation may oblige businesses to accumulate reserves for the creation of jobs; it shall for this purpose grant tax concessions and may require the Cantons to do the same. Following the release of the reserves, businesses shall be free to decide how the funds are applied within the scope of the uses permitted by law.
Article 101. Foreign economic policy
- The Confederation shall safeguard the interests of the Swiss economy abroad.
- In special cases, it may take measures to protect the domestic economy. In doing so, it may if necessary depart from the principle of economic freedom.
Article 102. National economic supply
- The Confederation shall ensure that the country is supplied with essential goods and services in the event of the threat of politico-military strife or war, or of severe shortages that the economy cannot by itself counteract. It shall take precautionary measures to address these matters.
- In exercising its powers under this Article, it may if necessary depart from the principle of economic freedom.
Article 103. Structural policy
The Confederation may support regions of the country that are under economic threat and promote specific economic sectors and professions, if reasonable self-help measures are insufficient to ensure their existence. In exercising its powers under this Article, it may if necessary depart from the principle of economic freedom.
Article 104. Agriculture
- The Confederation shall ensure that agricultural sector, by means of a sustainable and market oriented production policy, makes an essential contribution towards:
- the reliable provision of the population with foodstuffs;
- the conservation of natural resources and the upkeep of the countryside;
- decentralised population settlement of the country.
- In addition to the self-help measures that can reasonably be expected in the agriculture sector and if necessary in derogation from the principle of economic freedom, the Confederation shall support farms that cultivate the land.
- The Confederation shall organise measures in such a manner that the agricultural sector fulfils its multi-functional duties. It has in particular the following powers and duties:
- supplementing revenues from agriculture by means of direct subsidies in order to achieve of fair and adequate remuneration for the services provided, subject to proof of compliance with ecological requirements.
- encouraging by means of economically advantageous incentives methods of production that are specifically near-natural and respectful of both the environment and livestock.
- legislating on declarations of origin, quality, production methods and processing procedures for foodstuffs.
- protecting the environment against the detrimental effects of the excessive use of fertilisers, chemicals and other auxiliary agents.
- at its discretion, encouraging agricultural research, counselling and education and subsidise investments.
- at its discretion, legislating on the consolidation of agricultural property holdings.
- For these purposes, the Confederation shall provide both funds earmarked for the agricultural sector and general federal funds.
Article 105. Alcohol
The legislation on the manufacture, import, rectification and sale of alcohol obtained by distillation is the responsibility of the Confederation. The Confederation shall in particular take account of the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
Article 106. Gambling
- The Confederation shall legislate on gambling; in doing so it shall take account of cantonal interests.
- A licence from the Confederation is required in order to establish and operate a casino. In granting such a licence, the Confederation shall take account of regional circumstances. It shall levy a revenue-related tax on casinos; this tax must not exceed 80 per cent of the gross revenues from gambling. It shall be used to fund the Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance.
- The cantons are responsible for granting licences for and supervising the following:
- gambling activities that are available to an unlimited number of people, are offered at more than one location and which are based on the same random draw or a similar procedure; the foregoing does not apply to the jackpot systems in casinos;
- betting on sports;
- games of skill.
- Paragraphs 2 and 3 also apply to telecommunications-based gambling.
- The Confederation and the cantons shall take account of the dangers of gambling. They shall ensure that appropriate protection is provided through legislation and supervisory measures and in doing so shall take account of the different characteristics of the games and the form and location of the gambling opportunity offered.
- The cantons shall ensure that the net revenues from gambling in accordance with paragraph 3 letters a and b are used in their entirety for charitable purposes, in particular in the fields of culture, social projects and sport.
- The Confederation and the cantons shall coordinate their efforts to fulfil their tasks. To this end the law shall establish a joint body, one half of whose members shall be from the federal implementing bodies and the other half from the cantonal implementing bodies.
Article 107. Weapons and war material
- The Confederation shall legislate against misuse of weapons and their accessories and ammunition.
- It shall legislate on the manufacture, procurement and sale of war material as well as the import, export and transit of such material.
Section 8. Housing, Employment, Social Security and Health
Article 108. Construction of housing and home ownership
- The Confederation shall encourage the construction of housing, the acquisition of the ownership of apartments and houses for the personal use of private individuals, as well as the activities of developers and organisations involved in the construction of public utility housing.
- It shall encourage in particular the acquisition and development of land for the construction of housing, increased efficiency in construction and the reduction of construction and housing costs.
- It may legislate on the development of land for housing construction and on increasing the efficiency of construction.
- In doing so, it shall take particular account of the interests of families, elderly persons, persons on low incomes and persons with disabilities.
Article 109. Landlord and tenant
- The Confederation shall legislate against abuses in tenancy matters, and in particular against unfair rents, as well as on the procedure for challenging unlawfully terminated leases and the limited extension of leases.
- It may legislate to declare framework leases to be generally applicable. Such leases may be declared generally applicable only if they take appropriate account of the justified interests of minorities and regional particularities, and respect the principle of equality before the law.
Article 110. Employment
- The Confederation may legislate on:
- employee protection;
- relations between employer and employee, and in particular on common regulations on operational and professional matters;
- recruitment services;
- the declaration of collective employment agreements to be generally applicable.
- Collective employment agreements may be declared generally applicable only if they take appropriate account of the justified interests of minorities and regional particularities, and they respect the principle of equality before the law and the right to form professional associations.
- August 1 is the National Day of the Swiss Confederation. In terms of employment law, it is regarded as equivalent to a Sunday, with equivalent rights to pay.
Article 111. Old-age, survivors’ and invalidity pension provision
- The Confederation shall take measures to ensure adequate financial provision for the elderly, surviving spouses and children, and persons with disabilities. These shall be based on three pillars, namely the Federal Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance, the occupational pension scheme and private pension schemes.
- The Confederation shall ensure that the Federal Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance and the occupational pension scheme are able to fulfil their purpose at all times.
- It may require the Cantons to exempt institutions of the Federal Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance and the occupational pension scheme from liability to pay tax and to grant insured persons and their employers tax relief on contributions and reversionary rights.
- In cooperation with the Cantons, it shall encourage private pension schemes, in particular through measures relating to taxation policy and the policy of promoting property ownership.
Article 112. Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance
- The Confederation shall legislate on the Old-age, Survivors and Invalidity Insurance.
- In doing so, it shall adhere to the following principles:
- the insurance is compulsory.
- it provides cash and non-cash benefits.
- pensions must be sufficient to cover basic living expenses adequately.
- the maximum pension must not be more than twice the minimum pension.
- pensions must as a minimum be adjusted in line with price trends.
- The insurance is funded:
- through contributions from those insured, whereby employers must pay one half of the contributions payable by their employees;
- through subsidies from the Confederation.
- The subsidies from the Confederation may not exceed one half of the disbursements made under the scheme.
- The subsidies from the Confederation shall in the first place be funded from the net proceeds of the tax on tobacco, the tax on distilled spirits and the tax on the revenues from gaming houses.
- [Repealed by the popular vote on 28 Nov 2004, with effect from 1 Jan. 2008]
Article 112a. Supplementary benefits
- Confederation and Cantons shall pay supplementary benefits to people whose basic living expenses are not covered by benefits under the Old-age, Survivors and Invalidity Insurance.
- The law determines the extent of the supplementary benefits as well as the tasks and responsibilities of the Confederation and Cantons.
Article 112b. Promoting the rehabilitation of people eligible for invalidity benefits
- The Confederation shall encourage the rehabilitation of people eligible for invalidity benefits by providing cash and non-cash benefits. For this purpose, it may use resources from the Invalidity Insurance.
- The Cantons shall encourage the rehabilitation of people eligible for invalidity benefits, in particular through contributions to the construction and running of institutions that provide accommodation and work.
- The law determines the goals of rehabilitation and the principles and criteria.
Article 112c. Aid for elderly people and people with disabilities
- The Cantons shall provide for assistance and care in the home for elderly people and people with disabilities.
- The Confederation shall support national efforts for the benefit of elderly people and people with disabilities. For this purpose, it may use resources from the Old-age, Survivors and Invalidity Insurance.
Article 113. Occupational pension scheme
- The Confederation shall legislate for an occupational pension scheme.
- In doing so, it shall adhere to the following principles:
- the occupational pension scheme, together with the Old-age, Survivors’ and Invalidity Insurance, enables the insured person to maintain his or her previous lifestyle in an appropriate manner.
- the occupational pension scheme is compulsory for employees; the law may provide for exceptions.
- employers shall insure their employees with a pension institution; if required, the Confederation shall make it possible for employees to be insured with a federal pension institution.
- self-employed persons may insure themselves on a voluntary basis with a pension institution.
- for specific groups of self-employed persons, the Confederation may declare the occupational pension scheme to be compulsory, either in general terms or for individual risks only.
- The occupation pension scheme is funded from the contributions of those insured, whereby employers must pay a minimum of one half of the contributions of their employees.
- Pension schemes must satisfy the minimum requirements under federal law; the Confederation may provide for national measures to resolve particular difficulties.
Article 114. Unemployment insurance
- The Confederation shall legislate on unemployment insurance.
- In doing so, it shall adhere to the following principles:
- the insurance guarantees appropriate compensation for loss of earnings and supports measures to prevent and combat unemployment.
- the insurance is compulsory for employees; the law may provide for exceptions.
- self-employed persons may insure themselves voluntarily.
- The insurance is funded by the contributions from those insured, whereby one half of the contributions of employees shall be paid by their employers.
- Confederation and Cantons shall provide subsidies in extraordinary circumstances.
- The Confederation may enact regulations on social assistance for the unemployed.
Article 115. Support for persons in need
Persons in need shall be supported by their Canton of residence. The Confederation regulates exceptions and powers.
Article 116. Child allowances and maternity insurance
- In the fulfilment of its duties, the Confederation shall take account of the needs of families. It may support measures for the protection of families.
- It may issue regulations on child allowances and operate a federal family allowances compensation fund.
- It shall establish a maternity insurance scheme. It may also require persons who cannot benefit from that insurance to make contributions.
- The Confederation may declare participation in a family allowances compensation fund and the maternity insurance scheme to be compulsory, either in general terms or for individual sections of the population, and make its subsidies dependent on appropriate subsidies being made by the Cantons.
Article 117. Health and accident insurance
- The Confederation shall legislate on health and accident insurance.
- It may declare health and the accident insurance to be compulsory, either in general terms or for individual sections of the population.
Article 118. Health protection
- The Confederation shall, within the limits of its powers, take measures for the protection of health.
- It shall legislate on:
- the use of foodstuffs as well as therapeutic products, narcotics, organisms, chemicals and items that may be dangerous to health;
- the combating of communicable, widespread or particularly dangerous human and animal diseases;
- protection against ionising radiation.
Article 118a. Complementary medicine
The Confederation and the Cantons shall within the scope of their powers ensure that consideration is given to complementary medicine.
Article 118b. Research on human beings
- The Confederation shall legislate on research on human beings where this is required in order to protect their dignity and privacy. In doing so, it shall preserve the freedom to conduct research and shall take account of the importance of research to health and society.
- The Confederation shall adhere to the following principles in relation to biological and medical research involving human beings:
- It is a requirement for any research project that the participants or their legal representatives have given their informed consent. The law may provide for exceptions. A refusal is binding in every case.
- The risks and stress for the participants must not be disproportionate to the benefits of the research project.
- A research project involving persons lacking the capacity to consent may be conducted only if findings of equal value cannot be obtained from research involving persons who have the capacity to consent. If the research project is not expected to bring any immediate benefit to the persons lacking the capacity to consent, the risks and stress must be minimal.
- An independent assessment of the research project must have determined that the safety of the participants is guaranteed.
Article 119. Reproductive medicine and gene technology involving human beings
- Human beings shall be protected against the misuse of reproductive medicine and gene technology.
- The Confederation shall legislate on the use of human reproductive and genetic material. In doing so, it shall ensure the protection of human dignity, privacy and the family and shall adhere in particular to the following principles:
- all forms of cloning and interference with the genetic material of human reproductive cells and embryos are unlawful.
- non-human reproductive and genetic material may neither be introduced into nor combined with human reproductive material.
- the procedure for medically-assisted reproduction may be used only if infertility or the risk of transmitting a serious illness cannot otherwise be overcome, but not in order to conceive a child with specific characteristics or to further research; the fertilisation of human egg cells outside a woman’s body is permitted only under the conditions laid down by the law; no more human egg cells may be developed into embryos outside a woman’s body than are capable of being immediately implanted into her.
- the donation of embryos and all forms of surrogate motherhood are unlawful.
- the trade in human reproductive material and in products obtained from embryos is prohibited.
- the genetic material of a person may be analysed, registered or made public only with the consent of the person concerned or if the law so provides.
- every person shall have access to data relating to their ancestry.
Article 119a. Transplant medicine
- The Confederation shall legislate in the field of organ, tissue and cell transplants. In doing so, it shall ensure the protection of human dignity, privacy and health.
- It shall in particular lay down criteria for the fair allocation of organs.
- Any donation of human organs, tissue and cells must be free of charge. The trade in human organs is prohibited.
Article 120. Non-human gene technology
- Human beings and their environment shall be protected against the misuse of gene technology.
- The Confederation shall legislate on the use of reproductive and genetic material from animals, plants and other organisms. In doing so, it shall take account of the dignity of living beings as well as the safety of human beings, animals and the environment, and shall protect the genetic diversity of animal and plant species.
Section 9. Residence and Permanent Settlement of Foreign Nationals
Article 121. Legislation on foreign nationals and asylum
- The Confederation is responsible for legislation on entry to and exit from Switzerland, the residence and the permanent settlement of foreign nationals and on the granting of asylum.
- Foreign nationals may be expelled from Switzerland if they pose a risk to the security of the country.
- Irrespective of their status under the law on foreign nationals, foreign nationals shall lose their right of residence and all other legal rights to remain in Switzerland if they:
- are convicted with legal binding effect of an offence of intentional homicide, rape or any other serious sexual offence, any other violent offence such as robbery, the offences of trafficking in human beings or in drugs, or a burglary offence; or
- have improperly claimed social insurance or social assistance benefits.
- The legislature shall define the offences covered by paragraph 3 in more detail. It may add additional offences.
- Foreign nationals who lose their right of residence and all other legal rights to remain in Switzerland in accordance with paragraphs 3 and 4 must be deported from Switzerland by the competent authority and must be made subject to a ban on entry of from 5–15 years. In the event of reoffending, the ban on entry is for 20 years.
- Any person who fails to comply with the ban on entry or otherwise enters Switzerland illegally commits an offence. The legislature shall issue the relevant provisions.
Article 121a. Control of immigration
- Switzerland shall control the immigration of foreign nationals autonomously.
- The number of residence permits for foreign nationals in Switzerland shall be restricted by annual quantitative limits and quotas. The quantitative limits apply to all permits issued under legislation on foreign nationals, including those related to asylum matters. The right to permanent residence, family reunification and social benefits may be restricted.
- The annual quantitative limits and quotas for foreign nationals in gainful employment must be determined according to Switzerland’s general economic interests, while giving priority to Swiss citizens; the limits and quotas must include crossborder commuters. The decisive criteria for granting residence permits are primarily a application from an employer, ability to integrate, and adequate, independent means of subsistence.
- No international agreements may be concluded that breach this Article.
- The law shall regulate the details.
Section 10. Civil Law, Criminal Law, Weights and Measures
Article 122. Civil law
- The Confederation is responsible for legislation in the field of civil law and the law of civil procedure.
- The Cantons are responsible for the organisation of the courts and the administration of justice in civil matters, unless the law provides otherwise.
Article 123. Criminal law
- The Confederation is responsible for legislation in the field of criminal law and the law of criminal procedure.
- The Cantons are responsible for the organisation of the courts, the administration of justice in criminal cases as well as for the execution of penalties and measures, unless the law provides otherwise.
- The Confederation may issue regulations on the execution of penalties and measures. It may grant subsidies to the Cantons for:
- the construction of penal institutions;
- improvements in the execution of penalties and measures;
- institutions that conduct educative measures for the benefit of children, adolescents and young adults
- If a sex offender or violent offender is regarded in the reports required for sentencing as being extremely dangerous and his or her condition assessed as untreatable, he or she must be incarcerated until the end of his or her life due to the high risk of reoffending. Early release and release on temporary licence are not permitted.
- Only if new scientific findings prove that the offender can be cured and thus no longer represents a danger to the public can new reports be drawn up. If the offender is released on the basis of these new reports, the authorities granting his or her release must accept liability if he reoffends.
- All reports assessing sex offenders or violent offenders must be drawn up by at least two experienced specialists who are independent of each other. The reports must take account of all the principles that are important for the assessment.
Article 123b. No time limit for the right to prosecute or for penalties for sexual or pornography offences involving prepubescent children
The right to prosecute sexual or pornography offences involving prepubescent children and the penalties for such offences is not subject to a time limit.
Article 124. Victim support
The Confederation and the Cantons shall ensure that persons who have suffered harm to their physical, mental or sexual integrity as the result of a criminal act receive support and are adequately compensated if they experience financial difficulties as a result of that criminal act.
Article 125. Weights and measures
The Confederation is responsible for legislation on weights and measures.