Presidential year 2017

The President of the Swiss Confederation for 2017 is Doris Leuthard (CVP) from the canton of Aargau. This is her second term as president, the first being in 2010.   

President Doris Leuthard and Alain Berset, vice president of the Federal Council, in the National Council chamber (Keystone/Peter Schneider)

The department of the president in 2017 is the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC), a role it last held in 2010. The vice president of the Federal Council in 2017 is Alain Berset from the canton of Fribourg who heads the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA).


"Let’s listen to one another, let’s work together across party lines, let’s take responsibility to ensure our country is well placed for the future and on the right path! We want a country with a high standard of basic services, where no region is left behind, where federalism is respected, where citizens are well informed and can exercise their democratic rights independently, and where there is no divide between elites and the people, because we are all the people.” 

(Excerpt from the speech given by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard before the United Federal Assembly on her election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2017 on 7 December) 

Speeches given by the president are published on the website of her Department, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC).

Presidential Services Unit

At the start of 2015 a Presidential Services Unit was established in the Federal Chancellery to help the department of the president with organising the president’s year. The unit was established by parliamentary decision on 28 September 2012, and its legal basis can be found in the Government and Administration Organisation Act.

The unit assists the current president’s department with any extra tasks during the presidential year. It brings under one roof the services which have been provided for some time by the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The core role of the Presidential Services Unit is to advise the president on foreign policy. This was formerly done by the Presidential Affairs section in the FDFA's State Secretariat. Prior to that, a diplomat was seconded to the president’s department. Parliament and the government expect the Presidential Services Unit to bring together experience, knowledge and contacts to create an institutional ‘memory’ – to ensure continuity and efficiency.

Last modification 27.12.2016

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