In an election year such as this, more importance is attached to getting young people involved in politics. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
This is the aim of the ‘Campus for Democracy’, recently launched in the Swiss capital, Bern.
The Campus project is soon to have its own office, and will serve as a national platform for political education, fostering cooperation between schools, youth workers and research institutions.
The project was established by the Dialogue Foundation, together with the New Helvetic Society (NHG), which is supported by the government and private individuals. It has the backing of 141 parliamentarians.
The Swiss president Simonetta Sommaruga was present at the launch, and said: “The government supports this campus, because you have to learn about democracy and practise it in the same way that you learn and practise a language or a sport.”
Switzerland is unique in that many of its laws are voted on by the public in the form of people’s initiatives and referendums, so ordinary citizens from the age of 18 upwards are directly involved in the political process.