Canton of Jura

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Republic and Canton of Jura
République et Canton du Jura
coat of arms
coat of arms
Canton of the Swiss Confederation
Abbreviation / license plate : JU
Official language : French
Main town : Delémont
Accession to the federal government : 1979
Canton Anthem : La Nouvelle Rauracienne
Area : 838.51  km²
Height range : 364–1293 m above sea level M.
Residents: 73,419 (December 31, 2018)
Population density : 88 inhabitants per km²
Proportion of foreigners :
(residents without citizenship )
14.3% (December 31, 2015)
Unemployment rate : 4.6% (December 31, 2015)
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Location of the canton in Switzerland
Map of the canton
Map of the canton
Municipal communities of the canton
Municipal communities of the canton
The logo for public relations of the canton of Jura

The Jura , French Jura [ ʒyˈʁaː ] ( abbreviation JU , Italian Giura , Rhaeto-Romanic Giura ? / I ), officially French République et Canton du Jura (Republic and Canton Jura), is a sovereign canton in French-speaking Switzerland , the francophone part of the Switzerland and belongs to the large region Espace Mittelland . The main town and at the same time the largest town is Delsberg (French Delémont ), the inhabitants are called "Jurassier" (from French Jurassiens ). Audio file / audio sample


The canton of Jura is located in the north-west of Switzerland. In the west and north it forms part of the Swiss state border with France , and in its extreme west at Les Bois it also borders the canton of Neuchâtel . In the south, the canton of Bern borders the canton of Jura, in the east the cantons of Solothurn and Basel-Landschaft .

In terms of area, the canton ranks 14th out of 26, and due to its low population density, it ranks 20th in terms of population.

The canton of Jura includes the geographical regions of Delsberg Basin , Ajoie ( German  Elsgau ), Clos du Doubs , Freiberge and the mountainous region of Movelier.


As of December 31, 2018, the population of the canton of Jura was 73,419. The population density of 88 inhabitants per square kilometer is below the Swiss average (207 inhabitants per square kilometer). The proportion of foreigners (registered residents without Swiss citizenship ) was 14.3 percent on December 31, 2015, while 24.6 percent were registered nationwide. As of December 31, 2015, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level.


The official language of the canton is French . The only German-speaking community is Ederswiler . In 2012, French was used as the main language by 91.8 percent of the population, German by 7.2 percent and Italian by 2.9 percent.

Many places are known not only by their French but also by German names, such as Delémont / Delsberg or Porrentruy / Pruntrut , due to their proximity to the Franco-German language border and earlier changing affiliations first to the Principality of Basel and then to the Canton of Bern .

Religions - denominations

A clear majority of residents in the canton of Jura are Roman Catholic (69.6 percent). 10.1 percent profess to the Evangelical Reformed Church , while 12.1 percent are non-denominational .


The current cantonal constitution dates from 1977.

Legislature - Parliament

The legislative body ( legislative ) of the canton of Jura is the parliament (French Parlement ), which consists of 60 representatives of the people. It was last elected on October 18, 2015.

In addition, the people are directly involved in the legislation as constitutional amendments mandatory and legislative changes at the request of at least 2,000 voters or eight municipalities of the popular vote ( referendum subject). At least 2,000 people entitled to vote or eight municipalities can also apply for a change in the law or the constitution. Foreigners have passed since the foundation in 1979 Canton voting and entitled to vote; excluded from this is eligibility for election to cantonal offices.

Political party Seats Distribution of seats Share of voters in percent
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP) 17th
4th 12 8th 17th 8th 
A total of 60 seats
Elections to the Jura parliament on October 18, 2015
Turnout: 54.13%
Gains and losses
compared to 2010
 % p
Social Democratic Party of Switzerland (SP) 12
FDP.The Liberals (FDP) 09
Christian Social Party (CSP) 08th
Swiss People's Party (SVP) 08th
Green Party of Switzerland (GPS) 04th
Swiss Labor Party (PdA) 02

Executive - government

The executive body ( executive ) is the government (French government ). This consists of five ministers (Ministre) .

Members of the Jura government (term of office 2016–2020)
minister function Political party department
Martial Courtet President of the Government in 2020
President of the Government 2020
CVP Département de la formation, de la culture et des sports (DFCS)
Department of Education, Culture and Sport
Nathalie Barthoulot Vice-présidente du Gouvernement en 2020 Government Vice-President
SP Département de l'intérieur (DIN)
Department of the Interior
David Eray Ministre
CSP Département de l'environnement (DEN)
Department of the Environment
Jacques Gerber Ministre
FDP Département de l'économie et de la santé (DES)
Department of Economy and Health
Rosalie Beuret Siess Minister
SP Département des finances (DFI)
Department of finance

Judicial branch - case law

Judicial bodies ( judiciary ) are the judicial authorities. These include in particular the three district courts ( Tribunal du District ) as well as the cantonal ( Tribunal cantonal ) and the constitutional court ( Cour constitutionnelle ) .

Representation at the federal level

At the federal level, the canton of Jura sends two representatives each to the Council of States and the National Council .


Economically, the canton of Jura is one of the weakest cantons in Switzerland. The financial strength is only 30 percent of the nationwide value. In 2011, the gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant was 62,316 Swiss francs . This fact is also visible in the many vacant (and decaying) houses, some of which are historically valuable. The unemployment rate is above the Swiss average at 4.6 percent compared to 3.7 percent at the federal level (December 31, 2015).

Horse breeding

A horse breed known today as Freiberger was formerly known as the "Jura horse". Overall, the Jura is a focus of horse breeding within Switzerland.


The Jura Railways ( Chemins de fer du Jura , CJ for short ) operate several railway and bus routes . The Swiss Postbus Service is also a concessionaire for several bus routes. The Swiss Federal Railways operate a main axis on which the express trains make a hairpin in Delémont. Another railway line runs from Delsberg to Boncourt with a continuation via Delle to Belfort . This route touches the Doubs valley with the Clos du Doubs .

The most important car connection is the A16 , which crosses the canton from south-east to north-west. Overall, some roads are narrow and winding, due to the sometimes spectacularly mountainous landscape. Some passages carved into the rock are no more than 3.1 to 3.5 meters high. This also explains the hesitant economic development of the area.

In 2019, the degree of motorization (passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants) was 595.


The Principality of Basel in the 18th century

The canton of Jura is the youngest canton in Switzerland. It came about due to cultural-political tensions . After several local plebiscites and the federal referendum of September 24, 1978, the northern part of the Jura was split off from the Canton of Bern on January 1, 1979 - after around 165 years of membership.

middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the area of ​​what is now the canton of Jura belonged to the Principality of Basel , an episcopal territorial state. While the areas of today's Bernese Jura became part of the Reformation under the influence of the city of Bern in the 16th century , the northern part remained Catholic or was re-Catholicized during the Counter-Reformation. Since the Reformation, the prince-bishops no longer resided in Basel, but in Pruntrut in northern Jura in the Ajoie . Between 1579 and 1717 the prince-bishopric was allied with the Catholic towns of the Confederation. The southern Jura was considered part of the Swiss Confederation because the cities of Neuenstadt and Biel / Bienne as well as the Moutier-Grandval provost with Bern had castle rights . The bishop of Basel was then worldly considered a prince of the German Empire; therefore, a German military leader was allowed to place his troops in the diocese during the Thirty Years' War in 1639, without the Confederation being able to punish this as a border violation in their facing location.


In 1792, as a result of the occupation by French revolutionary troops, the Raurak Republic was briefly proclaimed in the northern part of the prince-bishopric . In the following year, however, the entire Jura became part of the French Republic.

Congress of Vienna

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the areas of the former Principality of Basel were assigned to the cantons of Bern and Basel. The Birseck went to Basel, and the areas of today's Jura and the Laufental went to Bern. Compensation for the loss of Aargau and Vaud in 1803 was of secondary importance.

In the Catholic parts of the Jura there was already massive tensions between the authorities of the Canton of Bern and the population during the Kulturkampf in the 19th century . These tensions continued after the Kulturkampf into the 20th century, somewhat eased and later intensified again.

20th century

A highlight of the Jura question was the so-called Moeckli affair . In 1947 German-speaking Bernese politicians refused to run the building department to a Bern-Jura politician because it was "too important" to hand it over to a politician from Welsh.

The canton of Bern is largely reformed and German-speaking. In contrast, the majority of the inhabitants of the area acquired in 1815 are now French-speaking and - in the northern part - Catholic. The fact that the conflict that ultimately led to the separation of the Jura from Bern was originally less of a linguistic and more cultural nature, as shown by the fact that the La Neuveville administrative districts, the administrative districts of La Neuveville, were also French-speaking but Protestant in the referendums on the founding of the canton , Moutier and Courtelary , always voted to stay with Bern.

The founding of the canton was preceded by violent riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1984 the youth organization " Béliers " carried out explosive attacks . a. the soldier memorial of the First World War in Les Rangiers also fell victim. The leading head of the secession movement was Roland Béguelin from the Rassemblement jurassien .

The procedures foreseen in the Bern cantonal constitution and the federal constitution with referendums at various state levels ultimately prevented a civil war-like escalation.

Referendums, 1979 and after

In the second referendum on the Jura question on March 1, 1970, with an amendment to the state constitution, the Bernese electorate granted the seven Jurassic districts the right to decide on their own political future, and the Laufen district received the right to join another neighboring canton. The individual districts as well as communities at the district boundaries were able to vote on remaining with the canton of Bern.

In 1975 the three administrative districts of Moutier, Courtelary and La Neuveville decided to stay with the canton of Bern, while the three northern Jura districts of Porrentruy, Freiberge and Delémont wanted to join the new canton of Jura. The border district of Laufen initially voted to remain in the canton of Bern.

February 3, 1977, at the ceremony for the adoption of the Constitution of the Canton of Jura by the Constitutional Council. Roland Béguelin , François Lachat , Joseph Boinay (from left)

The federal parliament approved the Jura constitution in September 1977, with the exception of Article 138, which provided for the possibility of incorporating all or part of the Jura that had remained Bernese - subject to a legally compliant replacement - to the new canton. On September 24, 1978, the Swiss people (82.3 percent yes) and all the cantons ratified the creation of the canton of Jura by approving an amendment to the federal constitution, thereby enabling its step into sovereignty on January 1, 1979.

On March 10, 1996, 91.7 percent of voters in Switzerland and all cantons made it possible for the small Bernese municipality of Vellerat to transfer to the canton of Jura because, according to opinion polls, they were primarily concerned with the right to self-determination at the municipality level . The German-speaking district of Laufen is Catholic, but the language led to the decision to stay with Bern at the time. Territorially separated from the remaining canton of Bern, the Laufen district changed to the Basel-Landschaft semi-canton in 1994.

The canton of Jura and secessionist forces in the southern Jura continued to agitate for reunification. Since 1994 the Interjurassische Assembly ( French Assemblée interjurassienne ) - a commission appointed by the Swiss Confederation with all interested parties - has been working on solving the Jura question. In September 2004 she started a project aiming at a completely new canton in which the northern Jura (today the canton of Jura) and the southern Jura (Jura bernois) are to be united according to the ideas of the northern Jura people. With this, another attempt was made to detach the southern Jura from Bern and thereby establish the "unity of the Jura people" desired by the canton of Jura and the separatist forces of the Bernese Jura .

In 2013, a vote was taken in the canton of Jura and the Bernese Jura , which belongs to the canton of Bern , as to whether the Bernese Jura should remain with the canton of Bern or be incorporated into the canton of Jura. In the vote, a majority voted in favor of remaining with the Canton of Bern. Only the municipality of Moutier had spoken out in favor of a move to the canton of Jura. On June 18, 2017, Moutiers' electorate decided to change cantons. The municipalities of Belprahon and Sorvilier also voted on September 17, 2017 to move to the canton of Jura, but decided against a change of canton.

History of the Labor Movement

The region is also of particular importance for the history of the labor movement . In 1871 several local sections organized in the First International - mainly watch workers - merged to form the Jura Federation . As a representative of a regionalist-collectivist anarchism , it was excluded from the International in 1872. The subsequent establishment of the short-lived Anti - Authoritarian International at a counter-congress in Saint-Imier made the region the European center of the anarchist movement in Europe for several years. Significantly, the idea for the Swiss women's strike in 1991 came from a number of women watch workers from the Vallée de Joux , who wanted to draw attention to their meager wages.

Administrative division

Political communities

Cities and towns in the canton of Jura

The canton of Jura is very rural. The canton has 57 political communities . According to statistical criteria, there is only one city: the main town of Delsberg with 12'682 inhabitants.

The most populous political communities with more than 2,000 inhabitants as of December 31, 2018 are listed below:

Political community Residents
Delsberg , main town 12,682
Haute-Sorne 06987
Pruntrut 06678
Courroux 03314
Courrendlin 03064
Val Terbi 03202
Courtételle 02612
Saignelégier 02609
Courgenay 02331


Districts of the canton of Jura

The canton of Jura is divided into three districts:


  • Christian Koller : 40 years ago: A new canton was born. In: Sozialarchiv Info 1 (2019), pp. 7–22.
  • Kurt Müller: Difficult self-determination in the Jura. NZZ-Schriften 30, 1974.
  • Gilbert Ganguillet: Le conflit jurassien. Un cas de mobilization ethno-regional en Suisse. Zurich 1986.
  • Hans-Joachim Harder : The Canton of Jura. Causes and steps to solve a Swiss minority problem. Frankfurt am Main 1978.
  • Claude Hauser: Aux origines intellectuelles de la Question jurassienne. Culture et politique entre la France et la Suisse romande (1910–1950). Diss. Friborg 1997.
  • Hans Peter Henecka: The Jurassic separatists. A study of the sociology of ethnic conflict and social movement. Meisenheim am Glan 1972.
  • John RG Jenkins: Jura Separatism in Switzerland. Oxford 1986.
  • Christian Ruch: Structure and structural change of Jurassic separatism between 1974 and 1994. Bern 2001.
  • Marcel Schwander: Law. Conflict for decades. Zurich / Cologne 1977.
  • Burkard Steppacher: The Jura Question in Switzerland. Munich 1985.
  • Margit Wagner: Jura between Rhine and Rhone. Munich 1987.

Web links

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Individual evidence

  1. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  2. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  3. ^ The situation on the job market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  4. Balance of the permanent resident population by canton, definitive annual results, 2018. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 27, 2019, accessed on September 18, 2019 (definitive annual results).
  5. Structure of the permanent resident population by cantons. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 26, 2016, accessed on May 31, 2017 .
  6. a b The situation on the labor market in December 2015. (PDF; 807 kB) State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), January 8, 2016, p. 9 , archived from the original on January 12, 2016 ; accessed on January 13, 2016 .
  7. a b c key figures. Law. Federal Statistical Office (FSO), accessed on June 23, 2015 .
  8. ^ Constitution of the Republic and the Canton of Jura. Swiss Federal Chancellery , accessed on June 23, 2015 .
  9. Le Gouvernement Jurassien . Legislature 2016-2020 . Service de l'information et de la communication de la République et Canton du Jura (Chancellerie d'Etat) , accessed on July 3, 2020 .
  11. ^ Louis Jäggi: Solothurner Land , 1972
  12. ^ Arlesheim and the fall of the Principality of Basel , lecture by Marco Jorio , April 19, 1989
  13. Lexicon of the Jura
  14. Federal Chancellery BK: Referendum of September 24, 1978. Retrieved November 16, 2019 .
  15. Andrea Kucera: Jura question: Charm offensive of the Jura government. Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), June 5, 2013, accessed on August 22, 2013 .
  16. Simon Thönen: Jura vote: Perrenoud warns of tactical yes votes. Der Bund , July 9, 2013, accessed on August 22, 2013 .
  17. Moutier est ville jurassienne! (No longer available online.) In: Republic and Canton of Jura, June 18, 2017, formerly in the original ; Retrieved June 22, 2017 (French).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  18. Belprahon and Sorvilier remain with the Canton of Bern. In: Tages-Anzeiger . 19th September 2017.
  20. Permanent and non-permanent resident population by year, canton, district, municipality, population type and gender (permanent resident population). In: bfs. . Federal Statistical Office (FSO), August 31, 2019, accessed on December 22, 2019 .

Coordinates: 47 ° 23 '  N , 7 ° 11'  E ; CH1903:  five hundred eighty thousand nine hundred twenty-two  /  247 716