The most important task of the Federal Council is to govern. It continually assesses the current situation, determines the objectives of state governance and the means of achieving them, oversees their implementation and represents the Swiss Confederation both at home and abroad.
Federal councillors have a dual function: they are members of the government and thus jointly responsible for governing the country, and at the same time they head a government department and represent its work before the Council.
Leaders have to make decisions. The Federal Council deals with about 2,500 items of business a year. These mainly involve items of information and draft legislation presented to parliament. The Federal Council takes decisions at its meetings.
The members of the Federal Council are elected by the Federal Assembly. The term of office is four years and they can be re-elected. Federal councillors decide themselves when they wish to retire from government.