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The Federal State

Switzerland is a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-confessional nation shaped by the will of its people. It has been a federal State since 1848. Switzerland has a federal structure with three different political levels: the Confederation, the cantons and the communes.

Window with Swiss Cross


The Confederation is the name used in Switzerland for the state. In the Confederation, there are three powers: the executive (the Federal Council), the legislature (the Federal Assembly) and the judiciary (the Federal Supreme Court).


Switzerland is made up of 26 states known as cantons. They are the states that originally united in 1848 to form the Confederation, to which they each relinquished part of their sovereignty.


The communes are the lowest level of the state structure. All the cantons are divided up into political communes. In addition to the tasks that are allocated to them by their canton and also by the Confederation, the communes also have their own powers in various areas.

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