Actions taken

The association has taken a number of steps: we’ve launched a petition, made legal appeals, organized demonstrations, sent letters to and had meetings with elected officials, the authorities and several other  associations, mobilized the media, and held meetings with members.  Below are some details.

Information for the general public

  • launch of a petition on the web siteà-ferney-voltaire , March 2020
  • production and distribution of three leaflets, March and May 2020, October 2021
  • creation of a Facebook page under the name of the association, and of a website
  • organization of information sessions.
  • information stand at the Ferney market, November 6 2021
  • participatory workshop, to elaborate alternative proposals, with the help of Marcellin Barthassat, renown urbanist and arquitect in Geneva

Legal action, undertaken by a law firm:

  • in opposition to the order for planning permission, submission to the Mayor of Ferney-Voltaire for an out-of-court settlement, September 2020
  • institution of legal proceeding before the Administrative Court of Appeal in Lyons, January 2021

Meetings with local protagonists

  • Mayor of Ferney-Voltaire, Daniel Raphoz, together with the Deputy-mayor, Khadija Unal
  • President of the Ferney-Voltaire trade association
  • Director, Voltaire cinema
  • Gex Sub-prefect, Benoit Huber
  • Green party candidate for the Rhone-Alpes Auvergne region at the regional elections, June 2021, Fabienne Grebert
  • Lead Green candidate for Ain department at the regional elections, Maxime Meyer
  • representatives of other activist associations in the Gex area
  • representatives of the Green party in Geneva and Switzerland

A Swiss Green Deputy, Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, subsequently questioned  the Swiss National Council in a document entitled “Un nouveau projet de mega centre commercial ruine l’equilibre transfrontalier” (“A new project for a giant shopping mall ruins the cross-border balance”), May 2021, in order to alert the authorities to the damaging effects of the project.

Support for the moratorium on shopping malls proposed by the Convention citoyenne pour le climat (Citizens’ climate convention)

  • together with some 100 French associations and other groups, including Parisian legal experts,  drafting of a letter to the prefect of our respective departments to obtain a decision in favour of the moratorium as soon as possible.
  • together with representatives of the Collectif Contre-Open (a group which opposes construction of the new Open shopping mall in St. Genis), travel to Bourg-en-Bresse to deliver a request  personally to the Prefect of Ain, Arnaud Cochet, for support for the moratorium
  • a letter was also sent to the French President, Emmanuel Macron, requesting implementation of the moratorium.

Participation in demonstrations

  •  a protest of around a hundred people, including the Collectif Contre-Open, against the construction of shopping malls in the Gex area. It took place in front of  the Communauté d’Agglomération du Pays de Gex (the local government office in Gex)  in July 2020, at the time   the new executive board was elected
  • a protest  in St Genis against the construction of the Open shopping mall, along with the Collectif Contre-Open and other environmental movements in the Gex area, under the sign Sauvegarde du Pays de Gex (Preserve the Gex area), September 2020, and October 2021
  • a Marche pour le climat (Climate march) in Gex, along with other associations, May 2021
  • in Ferney-Voltaire, a demonstration organised by the association to protest against this project, with the participation of various associations, Swiss green elected officials and personalities. About 400 people marched in the streets of Ferney-Voltaire on 29 January 2022. Listen to the RTS radio programme

Press contacts

After interviews with the press, several French and Swiss newspapers – Le Monde, Le Progrès, Le Dauphiné, Le Gessien, Le Courrier , La Tribune de Genève and others – published articles about the project (see French texts under “Media”)

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