According to this article from the Tagesanzeiger the Swiss National Council  has decided that a naturalization should only be possible for holders of a residence permit C – they are in favor of the revision of the Federal Act of 29 September 1952 on the Acquisition and Loss of Swiss Citizenship.

This is another strike against foreigners, especially well integrated ones. There seems to be an increasing policy of giving foreigners B-Permits even if they have spent enough time in Switzerland (depending on the practice of individual cantons or even communes). However the biggest slap in the face is the rule for minors, they should no longer profit from the rule in article 15 paragraph 2 of the Federal Act of 29 September 1952 on the Acquisition and Loss of Swiss Citizenship that the years between the 10 years and 20 years of age are to be counted double towards the time of residency. The reason? Many foreigner minors are from “different cultures” and only the very well integrated should be naturalized.

Now follows a bit of a rant, first of all, being well integrated is very difficult to define. Speaking the language, following the rules and being employed are only part of it. One has to also have a certain amount of “Swissness”. Well who is going to decide that somebody is “Swiss” enough. Having had insight in different naturalization procedures in different cantons (they really do try and keep their documents under wraps – some at least) I have found some requirements ridiculous and downright insulting. For example it is expected that a certain “assimilation to the Swiss culture” has taken place, it is supposedly not required one gives up the identity of ones original culture. Seeing what politicians have been stating during the debate that is simply a lie. And where does one draw the line? And how on earth should somebody Swiss with no idea about cultural identities, no experience abroad be able to judge?

Concerning cutting the time for minors, in my experience kids adapt the best, the quickest and are very open to embracing new surroundings. Punishing them is not going to solve anything. For me this whole thing is typical political bandaid placement. Lets not look at what the problem actually is, but try and mess around in a different domain and act like we are solving the problem.

Opening up towards the EU has caused many many discussions, the worst are those of the badly informed who use populist arguments to scare people. I am not saying open the gates and let everybody in, but I would be happy if the discussion was based on facts and not playing with emotions. Additionally, instead of making foreigners here feel very insecure about their position, how about a clear statement what well integrated means! But that would be too easy.