Gathered today in assembly in Kreuzlingen (TG), the delegates of the FDP launched the campaign in view of the federal elections of 22 October with the slogan «Let’s make Switzerland strong!». The goal is more concreteness and less wishful thinking. Approved the climate law, in popular vote on 18 June.
The program adopted in the morning revolves around three main axes: strengthening the economy, greater security, including in supply, and the guarantee of a sustainable pension system. The main themes are the classic ones of the party, i.e. freedom and responsibility, the private sector before the state, the creation of wealth before redistribution.
Freedom and responsibility are two values also emphasized by the president of the party, Thierry Burkart, in his speech. The FDP must apologize for not having supported the former federal councilor Elisabeth Kopp, who passed away on 7 April, he then underlined, adding: “we must be aware of this fault”. Kopp was commemorated by delegates at the start of the convention.
In his speech, Burkart also referred to the “necessary” rescue operation by Credit Suisse. Federal Councilor Karin Keller-Sutter described the situation and referred to the pressure. Now there is a need for clarification and better regulation, it was argued. Burkart has spoken for his part in favor of the independence of Credit Suisse Switzerland.
Another topic on the agenda was that of neutrality. It’s not a concept for its own sake, Burkart pointed out, wondering why others should be prevented from re-exporting weapons. As far as energy supply is concerned, all technologies are needed, including nuclear technology, he then pointed out.
Against restrictions and isolationism
An attractive industrial and research location is the best guarantee of reliable tax revenues and sustainable jobs, the program reads. The party intends to fight “against the restrictions of the left and the isolationism of the nationalist right”. It aims to further develop bilateral agreements and diversify free trade agreements.
Concerning security, the FDP wants to give the army more resources and strengthen cooperation with NATO. It intends to defend armed neutrality and allow the re-export of arms. On the energy front, supplies must be reliable and affordable. We need to continue decarbonisation, expand electricity generation and keep nuclear power plants active.
Lastly, the PLR program provides for the guarantee of affordable pensions and health care, a strengthening of the 2nd pillar and facilitation of access to the 3rd pillar. When it comes to health care, it wants to promote freedom of choice and competition among health care providers.
Yes to climate law
Following the leadership of the party, the delegates decided – by 234 votes to 51 – to recommend to the people on June 18th to approve the new law concerning the objectives of climate protection, innovation and strengthening energy security.
The party leadership has admitted that the text is not perfect from a liberal point of view due to the subsidies it entails. In his view, however, the possibility of achieving the climate goals through flexible implementation, planning security and leeway for companies shines through.
However, there was no shortage of opposing voices. The Bernese national councilor Christian Wasserfallen and his St. Gallen colleague Marcel Dobler criticized the project precisely in terms of subsidies. In their view, the law will also lead to a disproportionate consumption of electricity.
To achieve climate neutrality in Switzerland by 2050, the new climate law provides for the replacement of heating systems with oil, gas and electricity for an amount of 2 billion francs. It also aims to support craft and industrial companies that use innovative technologies for climate-friendly production with 1.2 billion francs.