“There Have Been Many Mistakes in our Integration Policy”

6 February 2011

In a recent interview, the Swiss Minister of Justice Simonetta Sommaruga has stated that the debate on immigration and integration in Switzerland needs to move beyond slogans such as “Foreigners Out!” or “Foreigners In!” Swiss citizens need to have a more engaged interest in politics, and not simply resort to “symbolic” initiatives, such as the minaret ban. Citizens have understandable reasons to feel uncomfortable, given globalization and a degree of criminality linked to foreigners, however the problem is especially when there is no contact between the two groups.

In general, Sommaruga states that there have been many mistakes made in past integration policies. In order to begin to correct these problems, Switzerland must not only attract more high-qualified workers, but also help less-qualified workers be more “fit” for the labor market, by encouraging integration and language-learning.