Speaking in his capacity as the next chairman-in-office of the OSCE at the closing plenary session of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, paid homage to the deceased former South African president, Nelson Mandela, as an exemplar of freedom and reconciliation. The representatives of the 57 OSCE member states adopted several decisions and declarations at the close of this year's Ministerial Council in Kiev.
Today, the Federal Council launched the consultation on adoption of the EU regulation on the European external border surveillance system (EUROSUR). The regulation governs the exchange of information between member states and the European border control agency, FRONTEX, and coordinates the operational surveillance of the Schengen external borders. The consultation will end on 21 March 2014.
Local and regional newspapers with an entitlement to discounted transport will benefit from a CHF 0.22 delivery reduction per copy from the Swiss Post for the year 2014. The corresponding reduction for subscription publications and foundations' publications is CHF 0.14. The Federal Council has approved both amounts as part of its indirect support for the press, for which the Confederation has allocated an annual budget of CHF 50 million.
[ Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports DDPS ]
It is with great sadness that the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, heard the news of the death of Nelson Mandela. On behalf of the people of Switzerland and the Federal Council, Mr Maurer conveys his sincere condolences to the people and government of South Africa. The President of the Swiss Confederation extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the former President of South Africa. He shares with the South African people their great pain on this very sad occasion.