Feb. 8, 2009 Held


Swiss Confederation



Voter Participation

Cast Votes:2,572,040
Valid Votes:2,545,031
Invalid Votes:27,009

Referendum Vote Share

Citizens will be asked to vote "yes" or "no" to the following question: "Do you accept the federal decree of 13 June 2008 about the approbation of the agreement’s renewal between Switzerland and the European Community and its member States about the free movement of people as well the approbation and start up of the protocol that extends the agreement on free movement to Bulgaria and Romania?"




Election Results Modified: May 10, 2024

General Information

At stake in this Referendum:

  • Referendum on the renewal of Switzerland's agreement with the European Union on the free movement of peoples, as well as on the approval of a protocol to extend the agreement on free movement to Romania and Bulgaria.

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: President Hanz-Rudolf MERZ *
  • Head of Government: President Hanz-Rudolf MERZ
  • Assembly: Switzerland has a bicameral Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung, Assemblée Fédérale) consisting of the Council of States (Standerat, Conseil des Etats, or Consiglio degli Stati) with 46 seats* and the National Council (Nationalrat, Conseil National, or Consiglio Nazionale) with 200 seats.

* The President is elected by the Federal Council and serves a one-year term.

* The Council of States consists of 46 members. Two representatives are elected by a simple majority vote from each of the 20 cantons and one is elected from each of the six half-cantons.

Electoral Requirements

  • An absolute majority of voters must vote "yes" in order for the EU agreement to be renewed and extended to include Romania and Bulgaria.

Population and number of registered voters:

  • Population: 7,743,831 (2009)
  • Registered Voters: 4,891,363 (February 2009)

Gender Data:

·         Female Population: 3,936,174 (2009)

·         Is Switzerland a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (23 January 1987)

·         Has Switzerland ratified CEDAW: Yes (27 March 1997)

·         Gender Quota: No

·         Female candidates in this election: N/A

·         Number of Female Parliamentarians: 59 (National Council); 10 (Council of States) following the 2007 elections

·         Human Development Index Position: 3 (2014)

·         Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: N/A

Disability Data:

·         Is Switzerland a signatory to CRPD: No

·         Has Switzerland ratified CRPD: Yes, accession (15 April 2014)

·         Population with a disability: 1,161,574 (est.)

Election Modified: May 10, 2024

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