Switzerland Government

What is the capital of Switzerland?

Country Name Switzerland
Full Country Name Swiss Confederation
Local - Long Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)
Local - Short Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)
Etymology- history of name name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century
Government Type federal republic (formally a confederation)
Capital Name Bern
Capital - geographic coordinate 46 55 N, 7 28 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Independence 1 August 1291 (founding of the Swiss Confederation)
National Holiday Founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291; note - since 1 August 1891 celebrated as Swiss National Day
Constitution history: previous 1848, 1874; latest adopted by referendum 18 April 1999, effective 1 January 2000

amendments: proposed by the two houses of the Federal Assembly or by petition of at least one million voters (called the "federal popular initiative"); passage of proposals requires majority vote in a referendum; following drafting of an amendment by the Assembly, its passage requires approval by majority vote in a referendum and approval by the majority of cantons; amended many times, last in 2016

Switzerland Capital City Map

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Switzerland Government and Politics

Who is the president of Switzerland?

Executive Branch: chief of state: President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta SOMMARUGA (since 1 January 2020; Vice President Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2020); note - the Federal Council, which is comprised of 7 federal councillors, constitutes the federal government of Switzerland; council members rotate the 1-year term of federal president (chief of state and head of government)

head of government:

President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta SOMMARUGA (since 1 January 2020; Vice President Guy PARMELIN (since 1 January 2020)

cabinet: Federal Council or Bundesrat (in German), Conseil Federal (in French), Consiglio Federale (in Italian) indirectly elected by members by the Federal Assembly for a 4-year term

elections/appointments: president and vice president elected by the Federal Assembly from among members of the Federal Council for a 1-year, non-consecutive term; election last held on 11 December 2019 (next to be held in December 2020)

election results: Simonetta SOMMARUGA elected president; Federal Assembly vote - 192 of 205; Guy PARMELIN elected vice president; Federal Assembly vote - 191 of 204
Citizenship Criteria: citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Switzerland

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years including at least 3 of the last 5 years prior to application
Legal System: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts, except for federal decrees of a general obligatory character
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Legislative Branch: description: description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung (in German), Assemblée Fédérale (in French), Assemblea Federale (in Italian) consists of:

Council of States or Ständerat (in German), Conseil des États (in French), Consiglio degli Stati (in Italian) (46 seats; members in multi-seat constituencies representing cantons and single-seat constituencies representing half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote except Jura and Neuchatel cantons which use proportional representation vote; member term governed by cantonal law)

National Council or Nationalrat (in German), Conseil National (in French), Consiglio Nazionale (in Italian) (200 seats; 195 members in cantons directly elected by proportional representation vote and 6 in half cantons directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms) (e.g. 2019)

elections:

Council of States - last held in most cantons on 20 October 2019(each canton determines when the next election will be held)

National Council - last held on 20 October 2019 (next to be held on 2023) (e.g. 2019)

election results:

Council of States - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CVP 13, FDP 12, SDP 9, Green Party 5, other 1; composition - NA

National Council - percent of vote by party - SVP 25.6%, SP 16.8%, FDP 15.1%, Green Party 13.2%, CVP 11.4%, GLP 7.8%, other 10.1%; seats by party - SVP 53, SP 39, FDP 29, Green Party 28, CVP 25, GLP 16, other 10; composition - men 116, women 84, percent of women 42% (e.g. 2019)
Judicial Branch: highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 38 judges and 31 substitutes and organized into 5 sections)

judge selection and term of office: judges elected by the Federal Assembly for 6-year terms; note - judges are affiliated with political parties and are elected according to linguistic and regional criteria in approximate proportion to the level of party representation in the Federal Assembly

subordinate courts: Federal Criminal Court (began in 2004); Federal Administrative Court (began in 2007); note - each of Switzerland's 26 cantons has its own courts
Regions or States: 26 cantons (cantons, singular - canton in French; cantoni, singular - cantone in Italian; Kantone, singular - Kanton in German); Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Berne/Bern, Fribourg/Freiburg, Geneve, Glarus, Graubuenden/Grigioni/Grischun, Jura, Luzern, Neuchatel, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Sankt Gallen, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Uri, Valais/Wallis, Vaud, Zug, Zuerich

note: 6 of the cantons - Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Nidwalden, Obwalden - are referred to as half cantons because they elect only one member to the Council of States and, in popular referendums where a majority of popular votes and a majority of cantonal votes are required, these six cantons only have a half vote
Political Parties and Leaders: Christian Democratic People's Party (Christlichdemokratische Volkspartei der Schweiz or CVP, Parti Democrate-Chretien Suisse or PDC, Partito Popolare Democratico Svizzero or PPD, Partida Cristiandemocratica dalla Svizra or PCD) [Gerhard PFISTER]

Conservative Democratic Party (Buergerlich-Demokratische Partei Schweiz or BDP, Parti Bourgeois Democratique Suisse or PBD, Partito Borghese Democratico Svizzero or PBD, Partido burgais democratica Svizera or PBD) [Martin LANDOLT]

Free Democratic Party or FDP.The Liberals (FDP.Die Liberalen, PLR.Les Liberaux-Radicaux, PLR.I Liberali, Ils Liberals) [Petra GOESSI]

Green Liberal Party (Grunliberale or GLP, Parti vert liberale or PVL, Partito Verde-Liberale or PVL, Partida Verde Liberale or PVL) [Martin BAEUMLE]

Green Party (Gruene Partei der Schweiz or Gruene, Parti Ecologiste Suisse or Les Verts, Partito Ecologista Svizzero or I Verdi, Partida Ecologica Svizra or La Verda) [Regula RYTZ]

Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz or SPS, Parti Socialiste Suisse or PSS, Partito Socialista Svizzero or PSS, Partida Socialdemocratica de la Svizra or PSS) [Christian LEVRAT]

Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP, Union Democratique du Centre or UDC, Unione Democratica di Centro or UDC, Uniun Democratica dal Center or UDC) [Albert ROESTI]

other minor parties
International Law Organization Participation: accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
International Organization Participation: ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, EITI (implementing country), ESA, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMISS, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic Representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Martin DAHINDEN (since 18 November 2014)

chancery: 2900 Cathedral Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 745-7900

FAX: [1] (202) 387-2564

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic Representation from US: chief of mission: Ambassador Suzan G. LEVINE (since 2 June 2014); note - also accredited to Liechtenstein

embassy: Sulgeneckstrasse 19, CH-3007 Bern

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [41] (031) 357-70-11

FAX: [41] (031) 357-73-44
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