Presidential year 2021

The President of the Swiss Confederation in 2021 is Guy Parmelin from the canton of Vaud. He was elected on 9 December 2020.

Guy Parmelin, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Ignazio Cassis, Vice President of the Federal Council, in the National Council chamber (Photo: Peter Schneider, Keystone)

The President’s department in 2021 is the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER. The last time it had that honour was in 2016 when Johann Schneider-Ammann was president.

The Vice President of the Federal Council in 2021 is Ignazio Cassis. He heads the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.

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"For a country that is rich with such diversity, ensuring cohesion is a daily challenge, all the more so in the current situation. From the shores of Lake Geneva to the forests of Ticino, from the city of Zurich to my little village of Bursins, whether in tractors or regional trains, moccasins or trainers, in four languages, not to mention all the others, with or without a Swiss passport, a thousand differences cement us together when they could divide us. This is not due to providence: it is because we show an interest in our neighbours and a willingness to enter into dialogue with them.

Cohesion is Switzerland's real strength, added to our wonderful ability to overcome differences to achieve a common goal: working together for the future and progress of the country, for the good of each and every one of us.”

(Excerpt from the speech given by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin before the United Federal Assembly on his election as President of the Swiss Confederation for 2021)

Speeches given by the president and information about events attended are published on the website of his department, the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER.

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 12.01.2021

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