Nigel Farage speech in Switzerland

Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party delivers a speech during an extra-ordinary meeting of the AUNS in Winterthur



The Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland (German: Aktion für eine unabhängige und neutrale Schweiz or AUNS, French: Action pour une Suisse Indépendante et Neutre or ASIN, Italian: Azione per una Svizzera neutrale e indipendente or ASNI), abbreviated to AUNS, is a conservative political organisation in Switzerland. It was founded in 1986 and formed out of the Committee Against UN Membership (German: Aktionskomitee gegen den UNO-Beitritt). Since April 2014, Lukas Reimann has been the president of AUNS, taking over from Pirmin Schwander.[1]

The main purpose of the organisation is the prevention of membership or close affiliation of Switzerland with the European Union. As of 2014, the AUNS had 30,100 members, down from 45,000 at the end of 2004.[1]

The AUNS is closely associated with the Swiss People’s Party (SVP). It was presided by Christoph Blocher from 1986 to 2003, and is strongly associated with Blocher’s rise to a dominating figure in Swiss politics and the rise of right-wing populism orchestrated by SVP campaigns in the 1990s and 2000s.[2] While the AUNS can be considered influential with regard to the gradually increasing prominence of populism in Swiss politics, it has been unsuccessful in most of its specific campaigns.

Its only success was the decision against joining the European Economic Area in 1992, while its campaigns against the participation of the Swiss Army in armed UN peace-keeping missions (2001), against Swiss succession to the UN (2002), against the bilateral treaties with the European Union (Bilaterale I 2000, Bilaterale II 2004, right to move directive (2004), Schengen treaty 2005). and against payment of a billion Swiss Francs to the EU Cohesion Fund (2005) failed to convince the electorate.

On its website, the AUNS explicitly distances itself from racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism, arguing that their ideology is the direct opposite of National Socialism which aimed at an “empire as dictatorship” while their own ideal is “independence, neutrality and direct democracy in Switzerland”[3]


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