Schweizer Wappen

Die Bundesbehörden der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft


Press Release

Publication of the Report by the Forward Planning Staff of the Federal Administration

Challenges and Consequences for Federal Policy

The Swiss Confederation faces major challenges in virtually all areas of policy, not least on account of globalisation. The on-going process of European integration, in particular, will have clear repercussions. These are the findings of "Challenges 2003 – 2007: Trends and Possible Future Issues in Federal Policy", a report compiled by the Forward Planning Staff of the Federal Administration on behalf of the Federal Council which has now been published. In addition to this 200-page document the Federal Chancellery has also published a summarised version (brochure and Internet) designed to be more accessible to the public.

The report concludes that the further consolidation of European policy and the question as to how new and urgent tasks can be financed in light of the strained budgetary situation are core issues that affect nearly all areas of policy. Indeed, Swiss institutions will be even harder pressed to reach consensus-based solutions when faced with major political problems and to ensure the regional and social cohesion of the country.

In addition, Switzerland will have to adjust its responses to expected challenges to more of a long-term, generation-spanning approach. The three principles of precaution, causality (polluter-pays) and liability are pivotal in this respect. In terms of relations between the state, business and society (at both national and international level), a long-term balance will have to be found between rights and obligations, between responsibility and the safeguarding of interests and between autonomy and cooperation. Overall, it will be more important for Switzerland to develop a vision of its future role and identity and to be actively involved on the international stage.

A mine of information for the Federal Council and the Cantons

The report contains a wealth of information on the issues and challenges to which the Confederation will have to respond. The 200-page document brings together a series of sectoral studies conducted by the Federal Administration to present a comprehensive overview of the effects of globalisation on all areas of policy. It also forms the basis for the 2003 - 2007 legislature programme, which the Federal Council will be discussing for the first time in a special session on 29th January 2003.

The report is also a useful source of information for members of the public wishing to form a view on measures and reforms of federal policy given the constantly changing international environment. For the cantons, the report will form a basis for reflection in their preparation for discussions with a delegation from the Federal Council set to take place in November 2003.

Federal Administration Think Tank

The Forward Planning Staff has the task of analysing federal policy in a critical and constructive manner with regard to future challenges. Its work is coordinated by the Federal Chancellery in close cooperation with the departments. The publication of "Challenges 2003-2007: Trends and Possible Future Issues in Federal Policy" marks the completion of yet another report produced by the Federal Administration's think tank.

Bern, 23rd January 2003    
Information und Communications

For further information:        
André Nietlisbach, Federal Chancellery, Strategy and Planning, Tel. 031 - 322 38 90

Report and brochures (German, French, Italian and English) can be obtained from:
Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (SFBL), CH - 3003 Bern
Tel: 031 - 325 50 50;   Fax: 031 - 325 50 58;   E-Mail:

PDF format on the Internet:
Brochure on the Internet: