Andreas Gross

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Andreas Gross (2007)

Andreas "Andi" Gross (born August 21, 1952 in Kobe , Japan ; resident in Bad Zurzach ) is a Swiss political scientist and politician ( SP ).

After graduating from high school in Basel , Andreas Gross first studied history at the University of Zurich , then political science at the University of Lausanne . This was followed by activities as a journalist, as an assistant at the University of Bern (public law until January 1984) and at the University of Lausanne (sociology of work and utopia until 1989) and in 1989 the establishment of the private scientific institute for direct democracy in Zurich, since 1998 as Atelier pour la Démocratie Directe in Saint-Ursanne in the Jura . Since 1992, Gross has been teaching on the subject of direct democracy at the Universities of Marburg , Trier , Speyer , Graz , Jena , Hamburg and St. Gallen as well as at the University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland .

Gross achieved national fame as a co-founder of the group for a Switzerland without an army .

Andreas Gross is divorced and has two adult children. His center of life is on the Doubs in Saint-Ursanne .



Andreas Gross began his political career in 1974 in the Zurich student body and the JUSO. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the Young Socialists Switzerland .


In the 1980s he became known as a co-founder of the group for a Switzerland without an army (GSoA) and as one of the initiators of the 1989 initiative to abolish the army, which failed at the ballot box, but was nevertheless extremely successful. In the meantime, Gross is no longer fundamentally questioning the Swiss Army because it can still do something useful for the UN. But he advocates the abolition of general conscription and a small number of troops, primarily for deployments in favor of the UN . Gross was also one of the initiators of the popular initiatives against the procurement of F / A-18 combat aircraft (1992/93).

He was on the initiative committee for the initiative for Switzerland to join the UN (1996), which was accepted by a majority of the people and the cantons in 2002 and thus led to Switzerland joining the UN .

SP politician

From 1986 to 1991 Gross was a member of the Zurich City Council , from 1991 to 2015 Gross sat for the SP in the National Council , where he primarily took a position on issues relating to democracy and European policy, as well as foreign and security policy. He was a member of the State Political Commission, which he chaired in 2006 and 2007, and was an almost permanent substitute member of the Foreign Policy Commission. In the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which he had been a member since January 1995, he chaired the Socialist Group from 2008 to January 2016.

Author publisher

Together with Fredi Krebs and Martin Stohler, Gross is one of the founders of "Editions le Doubs", founded in 2002; This is the only Swiss publisher that publishes all of its books on controversial issues of the time ("Service Public" series) simultaneously in German and French.

In March 2016, Gross' most comprehensive work to date, "The Unfinished Direct Democracy. 1984-2015: Texts on Switzerland and Beyond" was published.



In 1991 he co-founded “ eurotopia ”, a group that deals with possible developments in democracy in Europe and brings its suggestions to the European discussion. He is a member of the board of trustees of Mehr Demokratie , with which he has worked since the beginning in the 80s.

Council of Europe

From 1995 to 2016, Gross was one of Switzerland's parliamentary representatives in the Council of Europe , sent by the National Council . Between 2002 and 2004 he was Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe , in 2004 and 2005 President of the Swiss delegation to the Council of Europe and from 2005 to 2008 President of the Committee for the Regulations of the Parliamentary Assembly. Since January 2008 he has presided over the social democratic group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Over the years, his involvement in the Council of Europe has taken him to numerous crisis areas outside Europe such as Chechnya and Azerbaijan , where he also worked as an election observer . With over 98 election observations since 1995 in Europe and the USA, he should be something of a European record holder in this regard.

In 2003, as a member of the Council of Europe, Gross was the first Swiss parliamentarian to address the UN General Assembly. At the Council of Europe in autumn 2009 he wrote a major report on UN reform and for a UN parliamentary assembly.

In 2010, Gross wrote two major reports at the Council of Europe: one against discrimination and for measures to improve the position of sexual minorities in Europe and an analysis of the crisis in democracy in Europe and what could be done to overcome it.

In 2012 (October) the Russia report by Gross and his Romanian colleague Georgy Frunda made a name for itself - the chairman of the State Duma , Sergei Naryschkin , had canceled his planned visit to Strasbourg because of the report. The report was drafted in agreement with the Duma deputies in the PACE committee and mentioned that Putin should see the strong civil society movement as an opportunity to implement the reforms from which the whole of Russian society would benefit. His reports on the crisis of democracy and the importance of an efficient state (June) as well as on the elections in Ukraine in November 2012 were also taken into account.

In June 2013, Gross prepared a detailed report on the Magnitsky case on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe . In this context, Gross stated that Magnitsky's deaths should be viewed as a "violation of Russian law and the European Convention on Human Rights". In an interview, Gross stated that he was convinced that Magnitsky "tracked down an injustice and was therefore the victim of an injustice himself."

In summer 2014 he wrote a report on the importance of federalism for the democratization of the European Union.

At the end of January 2016, Gross had to vacate his seat in the Council of Europe (he had not stood as a candidate for the National Council in October 2015). He was made an Honorary Member of the Parliamentary Assembly by the new PACE President, recognized for his 44 reports and over 95 election observations across Europe (both record figures); the social democratic group of the Council of Europe declared Gross to be its honorary president.



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The grandfather of the revolution - a lesson about chair glue ( Memento of the original from March 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Reporter , SRF May 18, 2011 (26:22 minutes) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Editions le Doubs , on
  3. see literature
  4. 1991 co-founder of the European democracy and constitutional movement “eurotopia” in: Andreas Gross - Political Stations , on
  5. a b Andi Gross: Congratulations on the first and a wish for the second 20 years: Rethink the strategy! - A (self) critical greeting from Andi Gross (Switzerland) in: Festschrift: 20 Years of More Democracy (PDF; 1.8 MB) on, pages 58–61
  7. UN appearance with background noise - On your own, but with the approval of Federal Councilor Joseph Deiss , SP National Councilor Andreas Gross made an appearance at the UN General Assembly in New York. This is not appreciated everywhere , NZZ , November 24, 2002
  8. Daniel Wechlin: Naryschkin cancels speech to the Council of Europe: Moscow angry about criticism - A report by the Council of Europe clearly reveals Russia's democratic deficits. Moscow is offended and cancels an appointment in Strasbourg , NZZ , September 27, 2012
  9. Large majority in the Council of Europe calls on Russia to reform , Blick , October 2, 2012
  10. ^ Council of Europe criticizes Moscow in the Magnitsky case , Die Welt , June 26, 2013
  11. ^ "The proceedings against a dead person are bizarre" , Basler Zeitung , June 27, 2013
  12. Daniel Wechlin: Russia's Political Justice: Judgment Against a Dead - A Moscow court has convicted the dead lawyer Magnitsky for tax fraud. The judicial scandal he uncovered remains without consequences. Politics makes use of its subordinate justice system , NZZ , July 12, 2013