The Friborg State Council is launching the campaign in view of the May 15 vote on the canton’s active land policy, subject to a mandatory financial referendum. He calls on citizens to vote yes in favor of a ‘renewal of economic development’.
The cause was defended Tuesday in Friborg by the president of the cantonal executive Olivier Curty (economy) as well as by two of his colleagues, Didier Castella (agriculture) and Jean-François Steiert (infrastructure). The subject on which the people of Friborg are called upon to decide comprises two chapters.
Firstly, a transfer of ownership which consists of a change of ownership, from the State to the Cantonal Establishment for Land Promotion (ECPF), for the Elanco and Tetra Pak sites, acquired via the Active Land Development Fund (Fonds PFA), namely AgriCo, in St-Aubin, La Maillarde, in Romont, and Pré-aux-Moines, in Marly.
Then there is the capital endowment, also drawn from the PFA Fund, which must ensure the development of the industrial sites and the operation of the ECPF by 2034 until its financial autonomy, planned for 2029. , the fund, set up in 2019, was originally endowed with 100 million francs.
The transfer of ownership and the capital endowment relate to a total of 43 million francs, ie 37 million for the value of the land and 6 million for the capital endowment. They do not involve new expenditure on the part of the State, the sites having already been bought between 2016 and 2017 through the PFA Fund.
The ECPF is subject to the high supervision of the Council of State, to which it presents an annual report as well as a report on the period of the service mandate. These reports, which include a summary of activities and the accounts, are presented to the Grand Council and published.
The transfer of ownership and the capital endowment were validated unanimously by the deputies on November 4th. They must enable the ECPF to have the necessary tools to become a financially viable and fully operational entity, while being placed under the strict supervision of the authorities.
The success of economic development and job creation requires an effective and targeted active land policy, considers the Council of State. This is why, with this objective, Friborg rolled out an action plan in 2016 aimed at overcoming the lack of land available to existing and new businesses.
The creation of the PFA Fund and the ECPF is based on the law on active land policy (LPFA), which came into force in 2019. The policy desired by the government and the legislature therefore includes four components: acquisition of industrial sites, LPFA, PFA Fund and ECPF as well as transfer of ownership to ECPF.