CH-Switzerland. No recount in referendum on Radio and Television Act amendment
IRIS - Rechtliche Rundschau der Europäischen Audiovisuellen Informationsstelle
The Swiss public's decision to adopt an amendment of the Radio- und Fernsehgesetz (Radio and Television Act - RTVG) has been confirmed. The Swiss voters had agreed, by a wafer-thin majority, to change the way public service broadcasting is funded on 14 June 2015 (see IRIS 2015-7/5 ). According to the provisional official result, the difference between the yes and no votes was only 3,696. A number of voters asked the Bundesgericht (Federal Supreme Court) for a recount. However, in public deliberations, the highest Swiss court rejected their requests on 19 August 2015. In the court's opinion, there was no concrete evidence that the votes had been miscounted. The legislative amendment is therefore legally valid. As a result, the current device-based broadcasting charge will be replaced with a universal charge for households and businesses. However, this will not happen immediately. The system will not change until 2018 or 2019, since the Bundesamt für Kommunikation (Federal Communications Office) believes that various preparatory steps need to be taken first, including the appointment of a fee collecting body and the creation of a new infrastructure. In the meantime, the Bundesrat (government) will clarify the new legislative provisions adopted in the referendum by incorporating implementing provisions in the Radio- und Fernsehverordnung (Radio and Television Decree - RTVV). For this reason, the federal authorities announced the planned amendments to the RTVV at a public hearing held shortly after the Bundesgericht had issued its decision.