Presidential year 2019

The President of the Swiss Confederation in 2019 is Ueli Maurer, who is from Zurich. He was elected to the office on 5 December 2018.

Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Simonetta Sommaruga, Vice President of the Federal Council, in the National Council chamber (Photo: Béatrice Devènes)

For the first time since 2012 the president’s department is the Federal Department of Finance (FDF). The Vice President of the Federal Council in 2019 is Simonetta Sommaruga, who heads the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC).


" I want the public to realise that the people working here are trying to achieve what’s best for our country, and that they enjoy what they do. Of course, people have different positions and opinions – that’s natural. But at the end of the day the public expects us to reach a compromise, or to find a majority to support our policies. I believe it is our collective duty to gain the public’s trust, and to retain it.”

(Excerpt from the speech given by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer before the United Federal Assembly on his election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2019)

Speeches given by the president and information about events attended are published on the website of his department, the Federal Department of Finance.

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 13.02.2019

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