SWITZERLAND - Sovereignists defeated

The referendum called by the right-leaning Swiss nationalists to give Swiss law precedence over international law and treaties has been roundly defeated. The referendum, promoted by the Swiss People's Party (SVP), hoped to modify the country's constitution by including an article which would have guaranteed that, in the event of conflicts, priority would be given to Swiss law over any international regulation. Both the government and the Swiss parliament had invited voters to reject the proposal, and in the end, the “no” vote won out in all cantons with almost 67% of the vote. The nationalist party's main targets were the bilateral agreements that govern relations with the European Union. The leaders of the SVP expressed their disappointment for the outcome of the vote, stating that they will continue their efforts to thwart the EU. The next referendum could be on free circulation, for which the signatures have already been collected. But this is still a crushing defeat.

Vote: 3 to the sovereignists, forever incapable of understanding reality, even if Swiss.

EU - Trust in the euro rising

According to a poll held by Eurobarometer in the 19 eurozone countries, 64% of European citizens believe that the single currency has positive repercussions for their country. This is the highest percentage recorded since the question was first posed in 2010. Ireland, Luxembourg and Austria lead the list of countries in favour of the euro, with percentages close to 80%. Lithuania (42%), Cyprus (47%) and Italy (57%) are the most sceptical. The percentage of citizens who also believed that a greater coordination of economic policies between member states is required within the eurozone was also quite considerable (69%). Of the current members of the Union, eight countries still use their national currency. Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia besides the United Kingdom which is on its way out of the EU.

Vote: 9 to the euro, which is winning them all over, one by one…

EU - Migrant routes are shifting

According to communications made by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the flow of illegal migrants towards the European Union has slowed in the first 10 months of 2018 by 31%. The UNHCR, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, does however report that over 1,500 people have lost their lives in the attempt to cross the Mediterranean in just the first seven months of 2018. During the months of June and July, one out of every 31 people who attempted the crossing died or is believed to be missing. Compared to previous years, when Italy received most of the new arrivals, Spain has now become the main destination: during the first ten months of 2018, over 47,000 migrants arrived by sea. As for the Western Balkan route via Serbia and directed towards Hungary and Croatia, the number of irregular arrivals continues to drop, while a parallel route has opened up through Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina, which is witnessing a growing migratory pressure.

Vote: 8 to Frontex, for the commendable work it is doing to reconcile border security and human solidarity. More must be done to save human lives.

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