Success as Switzerland says “No” to No-Billag initiative

Sunday 4 March 2018

The overwhelming majority of the Swiss population showed strong support for public service broadcasting by rejecting the No-Billag initiative in a national referendum on 4th March, voting in favour of sustaining quality public service media. The initiative, which called for the abolition of the license fee for public radio and television, was voted down by more than 70 % of the participants in the referendum.

For the Swiss media and entertainment unions who campaigned for the preservation of the license fee this popular verdict is a major success and represents a vote of confidence in public service broadcasting and its role in providing independent, quality and diverse programming to all audiences, regions and linguistic communities of Switzerland.

UNI Europa and its media and entertainment sector applaud the Swiss trade unions for their campaign and stress the importance of the Swiss referendum for the wider debate in Europe on the future of public service media. It is vital for democracy that citizens have access to diverse and quality public service programming on radio, TV and the internet to ensure a media space independent from political and vested interest that guarantees equality, diversity and inclusiveness.