Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland
The Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland (German: Aktion für eine unabhängige und neutrale Schweiz - AUNS, French: Action pour une Suisse Indépendante et Neutre - ASIN, Italian: Azione per una Svizzera neutrale e indipendente - ASNI), abbreviated to AUNS or CINS, is a conservative and Euroskeptic political organization in Switzerland that was co-founded by Christoph Blocher and advocates for Swiss independence, neutrality, and direct democracy.
The AUNS was founded on June 19, 1986, out of the Committee Against UN Membership (German: Aktionskomitee gegen den UNO-Beitritt) shortly after a referendum on UN membership was successfully defeated. Its founders were Christoph Blocher of the SVP and Otto Fischer of the FDP. Blocher served as the president of the AUNS until 2003, when he was elected a member of the Swiss Federal Council, being successed by fellow SVP-member Pirmin Schwander.
Throughout its history, the AUNS has had some success. It successfully opposed referendums on abolishing the military (1989 & 2001), joining the European Economic Area (1992), joining the EU (2001), as well as numerous other referendums. Additionally, the AUNS supported the immigration referendum of 2014, which was narrowly accepted.
On the other hand, some of its campaigns including against the participation of the Swiss Army in armed United Nations peace-keeping missions (2001), against Swiss succession to the UN (2002), against several bilateral treaties with the European Union (including joining the border-free Schengen Area in 2005).
As of 2014, the AUNS had 30,100 members, down from 45,000 at the end of 2004. Since April 2014, Lukas Reimann, an SVP national councilor, became the president of AUNS, taking over from Schwander.
The AUNS is a non-partisan organization, but it is also strongly connected to the Swiss People's Party and has been connected to the period of strong electoral growth of the party mainly during the 1990s.
The AUNS has a youth wing called Youth for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland or JUNS.
According to its website, the AUNS supports Swiss independence, neutrality, and direct democracy. The AUNS stands in opposition to EU or NATO membership, involvement of the Swiss military abroad, as well as any loss of Swiss sovereignty.
- Geschichte. Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland official website. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.
- We're Not The Only EU Skeptics Swissinfo. May 15, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014
- Gabriel, Jürgen Martin (2002). The price of political uniqueness: Swiss foreign policy in a changing world. (Report). p. 24. ETH, Forschungsstelle für Internationale Beziehungen. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- Young4FUN. Youth for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland official website. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.
- Über Uns. Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland official website. Retrieved on April 1, 2016.