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Participation and citizenhood in the City of Geneva

As part of its municipal policy in favour of diversity, the City of Geneva wants to offer every person living in the municipal territory the possibility of participating to the full in the life of the city, regardless of their origin, nationality or residence status.

Jeunes parlementaires au parlement des jeunes

Adopted by the administrative council in 2014, the municipal policy in terms of diversity includes a field of action devoted to participation and citizenhood for all residents of the municipal territory. With 48% of its population not holding Swiss nationality, the municipal authorities have set themselves the goal of informing and enhancing the awareness of people who have obtained the right to vote, as well as promoting other forms of civic commitment.

Since 2005, people who do not have Swiss nationality have had the possibility to vote and elect their municipal representatives. Like the under 30s, participation levels among this section of the population is currently below average, which itself is not very high. During the municipal council elections in 2011, for example, the participation rate of foreign voters was a meagre 25%, while the overall participation rate only reached 35.7%.

Instruments designed to encourage people to vote

To encourage more residents to exercise their political rights, the City has joined forces with the Université populaire albanaise, which launched a project entitled “Vivre sa citoyenneté à Genève” (living citizenhood to the full in Geneva) in November 2014. The project involved a visit to City Hall during a session of the municipal council, as well as two information sessions at the Palais Eynard attended by representatives of the different political parties (cf. photos below).

The municipal administration also published the brochure, available for download below, entitled “Ma commune, mes droits politiques: un guide pour mieux comprendre la citoyenneté” (my municipality, my political rights: a guide to better understanding citizenhood) which, for the first time in 2015, was sent to foreign residents benefitting from the right to vote. This initiative was organised in the wake of the motion “For a City of Geneva leading the way in encouraging the integration of foreigners”, adopted by the municipal council in March 2014.

Every year, the City of Geneva’s Youth Department organises a civic evening to celebrate all young people reaching the age of civic majority in the Canton of Geneva, regardless of their nationality.

The City of Geneva is also a partner of the State Chancellery and the Foreign Citizens’ Integration Bureau of the Canton of Geneva within the framework of the launch of the “J’ai 8 ans” campaign.

Participatory instruments

In addition to encouraging people to vote, the City of Geneva supports and promotes the participation and citizenhood of its residents by means of innovative participatory democracy mechanisms.

To this end, the Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity coordinates community contracts with a view to improving the quality of local life, as well as the “Paroles de quartier”, enabling the inhabitants of the City of Geneva to meet their elected representatives.


Service Agenda 21 - Ville durable - Diversité

Bertrand Cassegrain

Chargé de projet

5, rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville




Tél. 022 418 23 89


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Article modifié le 06.03.2020 à 16:37