The government has moved to end the crisis between the Federal Aliens Commission and the Federal Aliens Office (FAO). The Commission will have more autonomy within the FAO thanks to a new integration section.This content was published on September 13, 2000 - 22:23
The Federal Aliens Commission lost half of its members last January, among them the representatives of immigrant associations and trade unions. These members resigned to protest the subordination of the Commission to the FAO, formerly known as the Foreigners Police.
The government has decided to backtrack, by creating an integration section at the FAO. This section will include the Commission's secretariat.
It will also deal with subsidy requests and carry out federal integration tasks.
The new ordinance for the social integration of foreigners, which sets out the relationship between the Commission and the FAO, plans that half of the Commission's members will be foreigners. The budget for the integration of foreigners will also be increased from SFr5 million to SFr10 million in 2001.
This budget will have to be approved by parliament. The subsidies will go to projects such as language teaching, initiatives allowing the integration of foreigners in the workplace, or supporting help services for foreigners.
The Christian trade unions said they are satisfied with the changes and are prepared to reintegrate the Commission. They have however pointed out the government has not gone back on its decision to integrate the Commission within the FAO.
The other unions and immigrant associations have not said if they would reintegrate the Commission.
swissinfo with agencies