Move to improve internal security

The cabinet has put forward proposals to clarify the division of power between the federal government and the cantons when it comes to internal security in Switzerland.

This content was published on March 2, 2012 - 16:06 and agencies

Some changes would be needed to the legal basis underpinning protection of the state, support of the army for civil authorities and police duties in security, crime and border control.

In adopting the report on Friday, the cabinet outlined a series of problems with the current system. For instance there is no actual legal provision outlining the federal government’s role in the protection of the state, which the cabinet says results in uncertainty about the limits of its involvement.

While Switzerland’s 26 cantons are on the front line in dealing with security and public order, they do not have the financial or human resources necessary for policing major events such as the World Economic Forum, according to the cabinet. It recommends the army provide back-up in such instances. 

Some revisions to the law are already in the works over federal police duties, and matters to do with the army and intelligence services. In other areas the cabinet has asked parliament to come up with clear mandates.

Some issues will require changes to the constitution and so will need to go to a public vote.  

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