#6 Submit petition

handing over

The delivery of your petition should be a media-effective event. You can use this opportunity to draw the attention of the general public to your concerns and thus put pressure on the decision-makers.

make an appointment:

Ask for an appointment for the handover in good time. The appointment calendars of politicians are usually full. So allow a few weeks lead time.

If the addressee declines the appointment, suggest a new one and, if necessary, contact deputies, spokespersons or department heads. Before a handover fails, it is better to find another suitable person. However, in the previous s chapter we also described how to increase the pressure so that there is a personal handover with public figures.

Personal handover

The addressed person is confronted with your demands. Prepare for the handover or a discussion about your claims. Tell us your personal background story. And invite your supporters to be present at the handover.

invite press:

Appointments with politicians and public figures are interesting for the press, especially when they are confronted with challenging or sensitive issues. Invite the press and photographers a few days in advance and briefly describe what will happen and whether there is a photo opportunity. You can use a press release for this. Include a link to the petition.

Stage the handover for the press:

If you can provide a good photo opportunity, the press will be more interested in your story and cause. TV stations don't send out a camera crew when there's nothing to watch. A couple of suggestions:

  • Print out signature lists and hand them over as a thick 'book' or even in several boxes that stack up impressively.
  • Print out the demand with the petition picture and the number of signatures on a poster and hold it up. You can download an automatically generated submission poster for your petition.
  • Invite supporters and hand over concerns together.
  • Conversation with the recipient.
  • Not a must, but particularly effective: staging and handover activities.

With a poster, for example, you always generate attention and you are a popular motif for photographers in the press. In the administration area of your petition (orange bar after logging in), under the "Download" tab, you will find the signature lists for printing out, as well as an automatically generated poster for the handover. Of course you can also create a poster yourself. Large-format posters in particular attract attention and are a popular photo motif for the press. You may use the openPetition logo for this: White background logo , Logo without background color

Write a press release

Tell about the handover, the petition's demands, the number of supporters and what you will do next. The press release should be in the editorial offices by early afternoon at the latest so that it can appear the next day. Be sure to provide a contact person with a phone number so that you can be reached for questions and maybe even give an interview. tips for press release .

What if nobody wants to accept your petition?

Make the best of the situation. Company bosses who refuse an appointment to hand over a challenging petition are of interest to the press for this reason alone. Make a handover anyway! For example, rent a room in the town hall or state parliament, or choose a representative location in front of the company headquarters. Hand over the signatures to an empty chair - this makes it clear that your concerns are being ignored and puts pressure on the decision-makers. Invite the press and photographers to attend.

Inform your supporters

Tell your supporters that you submitted the petition and what will happen next. The people who signed their cause want to know what happened to the petition – after all, it is their petition too. Write a blog post on your petition page and send an email update. Be sure to change the status of your petition accordingly.


In addition to the symbolic handover, you should also officially submit petitions that have a political concern to the respective petition committee! You can also submit petitions at the municipal level at the state level. However, it is usually more effective to seek talks with mayors, city or municipal councils. Ask for an opinion and a symbolic handover.

How and where can I submit my petition?

You can usually submit your petition by post or using an online form. In any case, point out your open petition (with the short link) and the number of signatures.

Right of Petition in Switzerland

According to the Federal Constitution, every person in Switzerland has the right to petition an authority. The authority must take note of the petition. Signatures can be collected both on paper and online. There is no quorum, no minimum number of signatures and no time limit. In the case of petitions at federal level, the petitioner must contact the Secretariat of the Political Rights Section of the Federal Chancellery at least two weeks before the planned submission of the petition and make an appointment. This is imperative as a petition at federal level can only be handed over on the federal terrace in Bern. In a picturesque setting, petitions are often handed over to the Federal Chancellery, accompanied by press representatives. Each canton has its own procedures for petitions at cantonal level.

Popular petition

is another instrument for citizen participation in Switzerland. It is also carried out as a collection of signatures. At federal level, however, a popular initiative can only relate to the federal constitution. It can only be initiated by voting citizens and is also accompanied by stricter rules than a petition. If these are met, there will be a nationwide referendum.

Petition law in the EU

The right of petition is enshrined in Article 44 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. A petition to the European Parliament can be submitted by any EU citizen and any legal or natural person based in the EU. However, the prerequisite is that the subject of the petition must fall within the sphere of competence of the EU and that the petitioners are directly affected. The petition can set out an individual request, complaint or comment on the application of EU law. Likewise, a request can be made to the European Parliament to take a position on a specific matter. Such petitions give the European Parliament the opportunity to respond to violations of a Union citizen's rights by a Member State or an EU institution.

Petitions to the European Parliament can be submitted in writing by post, online on the European Parliament's website or by email. Every year, the European Parliament receives around 1,000 petitions.


After the handover, keep working to get your case through. Stay in touch with the recipients, the press and your supporters. Take photos and videos during the handover and post them on social media to show your commitment and keep your cause in the public eye.

By regularly posting on the petition blog, you can keep all of your petition supporters up to date, announce events, communicate progress or announce the success of a petition. This function is also possible for completed petitions for a period of one year. Also, update the status of your petition each time so supporters know when it's been submitted and maybe even successful!

Support through openPetition: We are at your side with all these steps. It is important that you keep us up to date. If we notice that you are strongly committed, then we will also be committed to you. For example, if we learn of a planned handover, we can advise you and, if necessary, draw your attention to it via our channels.

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