|Municipalité de Moutier|
Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville 1
|Tel. +41 32 494 11 11|
Fax +41 32 493 12 19
Moutier, a small town located between the bilingual Bernese city of Biel (Bienne), on the shore of the eponymous lake, and the city of Delémont, capital of the Jura Canton, is at the heart of a long Swiss saga, the "Jura Question".
From 999 to 1792, all that constitutes the present-day Jura east of the Neuchâtel Jura was a possession of the Episcopal Principality of Basel, an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
Then in French hands until 1815, the small town of Moutier and the rest of the Jura became a French-speaking region of the canton of Bern after the fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna.
Such a "colonization" was unnatural because of the profound differences in mentality between the German-speaking Bern and the French-speaking Jura. It could not therefore remain viable for long and in 1947 a Jura separatist movement began to call for independence...
A long struggle led to the creation of the Canton of Jura in 1979... but Moutier chose to remain in the Canton of Bern by a narrow majority. The supporters of the attachment to the Jura did not admit defeat and the saga continued...
The "Jura Question" remains open in Moutier in the 21st century. On March 28, 2021, in a new vote, the majority of the inhabitants of Moutier decided to join the canton of Jura. The transfer has yet to be accepted by the parliaments and populations of the two cantons and by the Swiss Federal Assembly.
If all goes well, Moutier will finally become part of the Jura on 1st of January 2026... The Swiss slowness is not a legend!