Presidential year 2020

The President of the Swiss Confederation in 2020 is Simonetta Sommaruga, a member of the Social Democratic Party from Bern. This is her second term as president, the first being in 2015.

Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Guy Parmelin, Vice President of the Federal Council, in the National Council chamber (Photo: Keystone, Peter Klaunzer)

The president’s department in 2020 is the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC. The last time it had that honour was in 2017 when Doris Leuthard was president. The Vice President of the Federal Council in 20202 is Guy Parmelin, who heads the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).


"Never in Switzerland’s history has the population been so broadly represented in Parliament. Never have there been so many mothers, so many women, so many young people in Parliament. That will change the way we do politics and alter the lives of people in our country. (…)
I look forward to working with you all. Just so it’s been said, working together doesn’t mean that we won’t have fierce debates or that we’ll agree on everything. But ultimately the public expects us to find solutions that they can get behind. Direct democracy places high demands on the Federal Council and Parliament - and so it rightly should!”

(Excerpt from the speech given by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga before the United Federal Assembly on her election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2020)

Speeches given by the president and information about events attended are published on the website of her department, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (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 15.06.2020

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