Presidential year 2018

The President of the Swiss Confederation in 2018 is Alain Berset, the social-democrat from the canton of Fribourg. He was elected on 6 December 2017.

President Alain Berset and Ueli Maurer, vice president of the Federal Council, in the National Council chamber (Keystone)

For the first time since 2008, the department of the president is the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA). The Vice President of the Federal Council is Ueli Maurer from the canton of Zurich, who heads the Federal Department of Finance (FDF).

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" Switzerland is not a country of political excess. In Switzerland no-one has the power to impose their will against the wishes of others. But Switzerland is not a country of political minimalism either. We know that we must work tirelessly to safeguard national cohesion and social equality. That is the key to our success.”

(Excerpt from the speech given by Federal Councillor Alain Berset before the United Federal Assembly on his election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2018)

Speeches given by the president and information about events attended are published on the website of his department, the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA).  

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 03.01.2018

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