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Swiss voters have their say on Netflix, Frontex and organ donations

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By Euronews
Electoral signs against and in favour of a referendum challenging plans to increase Switzerland’s contribution to the European border agency Frontex
Electoral signs against and in favour of a referendum challenging plans to increase Switzerland’s contribution to the European border agency Frontex   -   Copyright  Credit: AFP

More than two-thirds of Swiss voters have backed an increase in funding for the European border agency Frontex in a referendum. 

Switzerland's Frontex contribution, which is proportional to its GDP, is due to rise from €23 million to nearly €60 million in 2027

The reform of Frontex aims to provide it with a permanent European corps of 10,000 border and coastguards by 2027. Currently, the agency has more than 1,500 agents from various member states.

Opponents to Switzerland's contribution argued the bill had to be reworked to include humanitarian safeguards, condemning the migration policy currently enforced by Frontex. In April, the head of Frontex resigned after reports of misconduct and human rights violations toward migrants. 

Switzerland is not in the European Union but does participate in the Schengen area, within which people have the right to move freely.

If Swiss voters had rejected the Frontex funding, it would have amounted to being against Schengen, according to the government. 

Organ donations

Swiss voters on Sunday also made it easier for organ donations to occur, approving the presumed consent principle, the same model that exists in France.

Until now, a person in Switzerland who wished to donate their organs had to give consent during their lifetime. 

From now on, those who do not want to donate their organs must explicitly opt out, otherwise, they will have been presumed to have given their consent.

The referendum saw 60% of voters back the change. 

Netflix

Swiss voters also backed proposals to make global TV streaming services such as Netflix Inc, Amazon and Disney invest some of their revenues generated in Switzerland into domestic film-making.

Just over 58% of voters backed the proposal, according to the final result, in one of three national votes held under the Swiss system of direct democracy.

Switzerland will become the latest European country to introduce such measures to support local TV and film production and boost locally-produced content.

"This result underlines the cultural importance of film-making in Switzerland," Swiss Interior Minister Alain Berset told a press conference on Sunday.

In the binding referendum on what is being called "Lex Netflix", international streaming services must invest 4% of the revenue they make in Switzerland in local film production.

The investments can take the form of buying locally-made shows, making programmes themselves or go into an investment fund.

Netflix said it respected the result and would work with the government to implement the regulation.

"We believe that good stories can come from anywhere, and we have already invested in content from Switzerland in the past," a Netflix spokesperson said.

Watch Euronews' full report in the player above.