Forum for Direct Democracy

EU-critical, ecological, social

The Forum for Direct Democracy is the centre-left movement in Switzerland which opposes the Swiss EU-membership for democratic, social and ecological reasons. It was originally founded in 1992 with the objective to prevent Switzerland from joining the EEA and the EU. We oppose the building of a European super-power which constitutes a danger to the third world countries and to global peace.

The Forum is for the moment the only left-wing EU-sceptical movement in Switzerland. We think the Swiss government would play a conservative, neo-liberal role within the Union, strengthening by that the social problems of the European countries. At the same time, Swiss membership would mean a substantial loss of direct democracy in Switzerland.

Das Europa-Magazin im pdf-Format
Dossiers Europäische Union
Dossiers Schweiz
Dossiers Themenfokus
Forum für direkte Demokratie
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Invitation to the 2013 "Beau-Sejour" gathering, October 25-27 in St-Imier, Switzerland
Rethinking Democracy, Money and the Civil System

A small gathering of thinkers, change makers and social entrepreneurs willing to venture outside the box.

We'll start Friday evening by collecting a bird's eye view of existing and to-be-created projects that we think aim to build the new in the shadow of the old. This will give us a head start, laying out the terrain we will be covering on Saturday.

On Saturday, there will be no presentations, no planned schedule and no predetermined shifts between topics. This gathering will be a group exchange that is moderated only to guide the group in the flow of where it is going. This process will encourage the emergence of fresh, innovative outcomes that shift not the direction but the vision of the future work of all the participants. We will gain a higher understanding of why and how civil society will get to where it is going.

On Sunday we will continue and collect these results, look for ways to take advantage of synergies between the various existing projects and perhaps some new project ideas that have emerged. We will develop a vision of a way forward, identify the key projects that will help along on that path and layout possible directions for future gatherings in a larger, more inclusive context.


Please let me know as soon as possible that you are planning to participate by sending an e-mail to or by calling +41 329 41 41 41 (if you get the message box, please leave a message and I will call you back).

There is no set conference fee. We want financial circumstances to not impede your ability to participate in this gathering as much as possible. We ask participants to pay voluntarily what they can expend for such an event.


If you like help with your travel arrangements or accommodation, do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like us to arrange accommodation for you, let us know how much you want to spend and what comfort level you require. Please do not expect much if you want it to be free. We will provide a shuttle service to and from the conference venue within the surrounding area.


The main venue of the gathering is the Beau-Sejour Hotel near St-Imier:

... Link

Sunday, August 4, 2013
Surfing Democracy November 25-26 2013

From the Surfing Democracy 2012:

- Working on true bottom up subsidiarity
- Surfing Democracy - Dynamic Facilitation and Wisdom Councils

Now Surfing Democracy will go into its second round:

Surfing ist about Balancing and about doing the right thing in the right moment. It is the same in politics. So we started "Surfing Democracy": a two-day gathering, where people from anywher, can learn from their practice in participatory processes. We want to address officials in public authorities of communities, regions or states, people from science or practitioners.

Our aim is to create a common learning field for people who are working on the issue of participation. We want to continue on that so people can gain more clarity how to do their work in a better way.

No participation fee! You just have to pay for your traveling expenses, accomodation and food. A more detailed programme and time schedule will follow.


... Link

Monday, March 11, 2013
Profit statt Menschenrechte: Sicherheitsforschung jenseits rechtlicher Kontrolle
Mit wohlwollender Förderung durch staatliche und suprastaatliche Institutionen entwickelt sich ein wachsender Markt für Sicherheitsprodukte. Viele Produkte fallen in die Grauzone des Dual-Use, in der militärische und zivile Sicherheitsleistungen austauschbar werden. Dabei ist höchst problematisch, dass Kontrollmechanismen für die menschenrechtskonforme Verwendung dieser Innovationen fehlen. Für eine konsequente Menschenrechtspolitik wird es darauf ankommen, sowohl das Testen „im Feld“ wie auch die Proliferation der Produkte zu unterbinden. Um diese Politik umzusetzen, braucht es eine unabhängige Institution, die in der EU die Vergabe von Forschungsgeldern entlang menschenrechtlicher Kriterien überprüft.

Artikel von Annette Groth

... Link

Friday, May 4, 2012
Self-organisation as a powerful change agent
In Approaches to change, Andrea Gewessler about the motivation behind current participative bottom up approaches as they are experimented with in Vorarlberg and eastern Switzerland:

"[...] they intended to adopt the approach of looking at what was not working as well as they wanted so that they could learn from their mistakes and improve. At that opportune moment they stumbled across Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and investigated what was working already instead. One of the big revelations was that their communities are already self-organising and that this self-organisation is a powerful change agent. So what works is creating an enabling environment rather than one that imposes change from the top. As a result of this finding, they revisited their entire approach to change. Instead of going into communities with a project idea such as an energy campaign, they offered communities their support with their own concerns that they wanted to work on and find solutions for."

"[...] The main fear that politicians have is that citizens could come up with fanciful wishes that require abundant financial resources and that are just not do-able. However, experience has shown that the opposite is the case – citizens generally recognise what is working and consider it their own responsibility to improve things further. Insights like this can only come from the people."

... Link