The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC)

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is the department for federal infrastructure and environmental matters. It has been headed since January 2019 by Simonetta Sommaruga.

Simonetta Sommaruga
Head of DETEC Simonetta Sommaruga. (Photograph: Matthias Luggen)

Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga

Simonetta Sommaruga was born on 14 May 1960 and grew up in Sins im Freiamt (AG). Following her baccalaureate examination she trained as a pianist at the Lucerne Conservatory. After some time spent abroad she continued giving concerts and taught at the Fribourg Conservatory. Simonetta Sommaruga is married.

Ms Sommaruga became executive director of the Foundation for Consumer Protection in 1993 and was its president from 2000 to 2010.

From 1997 to 2005 she sat on the Köniz communal parliament (head of fire services and civil protection) and was a member of the National Council for the SP from 1999 to 2003.

From 2003 to 2010 she represented the canton of Bern in the Council of States.

Election to the Federal Council

On 22 September 2010 the Federal Assembly elected Ms Sommaruga to the Federal Council. From November 2010 to December 2018 she headed the Federal Department of Justice and Police. Since 1 January 2019 Ms Sommaruga has been head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).   

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC)

DETEC deals with infrastructure and environmental matters. Modern transport routes, communication networks and the power grid all fall under its remit. However, DETEC also deals with issues relating to the environment and health and safety. This concentration of user interests and protection interests under one roof can often create conflicting objectives. Decisions must therefore often be very carefully prepared.

DETEC facts and figures

Staff (full-time positions /2018): 2242

Expenses 2018: CHF 12,58 billion

 
 
 
 

The President of the Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga

This year Simonetta Sommaruga is not only the head of DETEC, her government department, but also president of the Swiss Confederation. The office is largely ceremonial. The president is ‘Primus inter pares’ or first among equals.  

Federal Presidency  

 

Last modification 13.02.2020

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