Vaud suspends installation of 5G antennas

20 minutes – April 9, 2019 (Machine translation from the original French)

The Grand Council of Vaud adopted Tuesday a resolution calling for a moratorium on 5G antennas. The measure should apply until the report of the Federal Office for the Environment on this new technology.

After a long debate, blurred by the intervention of the State Councilor Jacqueline de Quattro, the Waldensian deputies said “yes” to the resolution tabled by the Green Raphael Mahaim by 95 votes against 9 and 25 abstentions. However, they amended the text, setting a time frame for it. 

Amended text

The ecologist wanted the moratorium to apply “at least” until the conclusions of the study of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). A large majority of MEPs, however, preferred a more precise wording on the future, saying that it was necessary to wait until the conclusions of the report. In his speech, Raphaël Mahaim emphasized that the announced arrival of 5G was completely lacking planning or coordination. All this does not respect in any way “the Helvetic tradition of the right way”.

Prudence and reflection

Faced with fears, uncertainties, pressures from certain economic circles, Raphaël Mahaim asked for caution and thought. And above all independent analyzes of the impacts of 5G affecting health as nature and the rest of society, including electricity consumption. Head of the PLR ​​group, Marc-Olivier Buffat denounced in this argument the will of the Green to “ride the fears and fears” in order to boost with “catastrophism” his campaign for the federal election this fall. According to him, the standards on emissions are already much more severe in Switzerland than elsewhere in Europe. 


For socialist speakers, the precautionary principle is appropriate, without pouring into technophobia. We must wait for the conclusions of the Federal Office for the Environment on 5G. “You have to trust scientists,” said Jean Tschopp, for example. For the radical left, it is nevertheless imperative to be wary of scientific expertise, retorted Jean-Michel Dolivo. “No blind trust,” he said, pointing to the pressures from the business community that he believes can influence scientists.


The debate on 5G antennas was somewhat confused because of Jacqueline de Quattro’s intervention. The State Councilor announced in the gallery that the government had decided on a moratorium. In agreeing to support the amended resolution, “you are in the direction of the will of the government,” continued the minister. Absent at the beginning of the debate, the State Councilor arrived after being solicited by messages, she said. His colleague Pierre-Yves Maillard, who is in charge of health, should have answered questions from the deputies, but did not take the floor on this subject. 

Specific remarks

At 1 pm the Council of State issued a note to the press to “clarify” the words of Jacqueline de Quattro. “The Council of State has not taken a decision to suspend authorizations to build 5G antennas and there is therefore no moratorium to date on this theme.” The Government emphasized that the practice is “only, in accordance with the principle of prudence, to retain the files relating to the 5G antennas pending the technical guidelines of the Confederation”.