The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) represents Switzerland abroad. It has been headed by Didier Burkhalter since the beginning of 2012.
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter
Didier Burkhalter was born on 17 April 1960 and grew up in Auvernier on Lake Neuchâtel. He graduated in Economics from the University of Neuchâtel and then worked in a range of positions at the university and in the private sector. Mr Burkhalter is married with three children.
Mr Burkhalter has been a member of the liberal FDP since 1985. In 1991 he was elected to the Neuchâtel city government, where he remained until 2005. In 2003 he was elected to the National Council and in 2007 he became a member of the Council of States.
Election to the Federal Council
On 16 September 2009 the Federal Assembly elected Didier Burkhalter to the Federal Council. From 2009 to 2011 he headed the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). Since 1 January 2012 he has been head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. On 4 December 2013 the Federal Assembly elected Didier Burkhalter as president of the Swiss Confederation for 2014.
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
The FDFA protects Switzerland’s interests abroad and implements the Federal Council’s foreign policy. This involves fostering and expanding relations with neighbouring states and the EU. The FDFA also wants to improve its services for Swiss living abroad by modernising its technology.
FDFA facts and figures
Around 5,800 full- and part-time staff work at the FDFA.
In the 2015 budget the FDFA predicts expenditure of CHF 3,171 billion.
Last modification 02.05.2016