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Decision on arms exports remains with the Federal Council

The Council of States is opposed to a tightening of the guidelines for war material exports. He has rejected on Monday two Motions. One was the criteria for arm

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Decision on arms exports remains with the Federal Council

The Council of States is opposed to a tightening of the guidelines for war material exports. He has rejected on Monday two Motions. One was the criteria for arms exports, the other one is the controls.

The Council of States followed the request of its political-Security Commission and rejected both motions from those of the BDP group, the criteria with 20 votes to 17 with 6 abstentions, those of the Council of States Raphaël Comte (FDP/NE) for tighter controls with 22 votes to 16, with 5 abstentions. The initiatives are on the table.

The Commission reasoned that no primary with the pending popular initiative "Against arms exports in the civil war countries" (correction-Initiative). The open questions should be made directly by the people, answered, said spokesman Isidor Baumann (CVP/UR). The Commission does not wish to anticipate the discussion on the Initiative and a possible counter-proposal.

hot topic

In the Council, doubts were however raised as to whether this "procedural reasoning" be understood in the population - and if she was honest. "I've heard better arguments," said Anita Fetz (SP/BS). She recalled that the Swiss defense companies have exported in the last year of the war material to countries such as Thailand, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

The subject is highly controversial, said the girl from Basel, Switzerland, and quoted a Verse that you come early in the Morning to the Basel Fasnacht to ears: "D Helvetia table nümme unseri country of mothers. She now sells a weapon, the evil Lueder."

step up controls

Comte wanted to instruct the Federal Council, those of the law or regulation changes necessary to strengthen the control of arms exports. He referred to a report by the Federal financial control. This was came to the conclusion that the rules today are designed with a generous and partially bypassed. The proponents pointed to cases in which weapons from Switzerland into war zones, landed. This had to be prevented. The opponents of the Motion were on the point of view, the concern was unnecessary, the Federal Council would implement the recommendations of the financial control.

Federal Council strip

The BDP-group requested that in future the Parliament and not the Federal Council determines the eligibility criteria for weapons exports. In addition, the exclusion criteria of the goods control act, those of the war material act should be aligned. This would lead to stricter rules for goods, which can be used for both civil and military.

The national Council had adopted the proposal of the BDP group, with 97 to 82 votes, with 11 abstentions. The Council of States Motion was already available. He decided to you the Commission to send it back. This line first of all, the Passage of the goods control act, because they are considered as an "attack on different sectors of the economy". Then you rejected the Motion. Thus, the Council only had to make a choice to accept the proposal in the original wording, or reject.

the Initiative launched

The initiative was launched after the Federal Council had announced plans to relax the criteria for the Export of war material. New Swiss arms should be able to export company weapons in civil war countries, when there is no reason to believe that the war material is used in the internal conflict. The Federal Council wanted to support the arms industry.

The met, however, with fierce resistance. In consequence, the Federal Council renounced to the planned easing. From the point of view of the proponents of the concerns of the BDP has no need to use a Motion with the reversal of the Federal Council. War material exports are extremely sensitive, noted Daniel Jositsch (SP/ZH). Therefore, the Parliament should define the criteria. It should not be that the strength of individual members.

human rights more weights

Also, the founders want to keep their desire. The amendment to the Constitution to ensure that no arms are exported to countries involved in an internal or international conflict or human rights are systematically and severely hurt.

The Federal Council had exports tightened in 2008, the rules, with a view to a people's initiative by the group Switzerland without an army (GSoA) for a ban of weapons. In 2014, he loosened them in the order of the Parliament.

Before that weapons and ammunition could not be supplied in countries where human rights are systematically and gravely violated. Since then, exports are prohibited only if there is a high risk that the Material will be used for serious human rights violations. The "correction Initiative" wants to correct this decision. (Dec/sda)

Created: 11.03.2019, 19:21 PM

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