The delivery of your petition should be a media-effective event. You can use this opportunity to draw the public's attention to your concerns and thus put pressure on the decision-makers.
make an appointment:
Please request an appointment for handover in good time. Politicians’ schedules are usually full. So plan a few weeks lead time.
If the addressee rejects the appointment, suggest a new one and, if necessary, contact a deputy, spokesperson or department head. Before a handover fails, it is better to find another suitable person. In the previous chapter we also told you how you can increase the pressure so that there is a personal handover with public figures.
The person addressed will be confronted with your demands. Prepare for the handover or a discussion about your demands. Tell your personal background story about it. And invite your supporters to be present at the handover.
Meetings with politicians and public figures are interesting for the press, especially when they are confronted with challenging or sensitive topics. Invite the press and photographers a few days in advance and briefly describe what will happen and whether there will be a photo opportunity. You can use a press release for this. Send along 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 a camera crew out if there's nothing to see. A few 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: productions and actions for handover.
With a poster, for example, you always attract attention and are a popular subject for press photographers. 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: Logo with white background , Logo without background color
Write a press release
Report on the handover, the demands of the petition, 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 telephone number so that you can be reached to answer questions and perhaps even give an interview. Tips for Press release .
What if no one 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 the signatures over 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.
Inform your supporters
Let your supporters know that you have delivered the petition and what will happen next. The people who signed their concerns 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 local level at the state level. However, it is usually more productive to talk to mayors and city councilors. Ask for a statement and a symbolic handover.
How and where can I submit my petition?
You can usually submit your petition by post or via an online form. Be sure to point out your openPetition (with the short link) and the number of signatures.
Right to petition in Switzerland
According to the Federal Constitution, every person in Switzerland has the right to submit a petition to 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. For petitions at the federal level, the petitioner must contact the Political Rights Section Secretariat of the Federal Chancellery at least two weeks before the planned submission of the petition and make an appointment. This is absolutely necessary because 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 with media attention, 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 signature collection. At the federal level, however, a popular initiative can only refer to the federal constitution. It can only be initiated by citizens with voting rights and is accompanied by stricter rules than a petition. If these are met, there will be a nationwide referendum.
Petition law in the EU
The right to 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 EU's area of competence and the petitioners must be directly affected by it. The petition can set out an individual request, complaint or comment regarding the application of EU law. The European Parliament may also be asked to give its opinion on a specific matter. Such petitions give the European Parliament the opportunity to respond to violations of the rights of an EU citizen 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 website or by email. The European Parliament receives around 1,000 petitions every year.
After the handover, continue working to get your request through. Stay in touch with recipients, the press and your supporters. Take photos and videos during the handover and publish them on social media to show your commitment and your concern remains in the public eye.
By regularly posting on the petition blog, you can keep everyone who supports your petition up to date, announce events, communicate progress, or announce the success of a petition. This function is still possible even if petitions have been completed for a period of one year. Also update the status of your petition so that supporters know when it has been submitted and perhaps even when it was successful!
Supported by openPetition: We are here to help you with all of these steps. It is important that you keep us updated. 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.