Chief of State: President of the Swiss Confederation Johann N. Schneider-Ammann
Head of Government: President of the Swiss Confederation Johann N. Schneider-Ammann
Government Name: Swiss Confederation
Constitution: Adopted: 1999; This is the current and third constitution. It establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 cantons, contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights, establishes the responsibilities of the cantons/Confederation, and establishes the federal authorities of government.
Government Type: Confederation (similar in structure to a Federal Republic)
|Main Powers||Election Process||Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/|
Each Federal Councilor heads a government department, much like the ministers in the governments of other countries.
President is appointed by parliament, Council of States (Standerat/Council des Etats/ Consiglio degli Stati) 6 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies and 40 members are elected by plurality vote in multi-member constituencies.
President: 1 year; Council of States: 4 years
Hear appeals of cantonal courts or the administrative rulings of the federal administraton.
Elected by Federal Assembly.
Possesses the federal government's legislative power, along with the separate constitutional right of citizen's initiative.
National Council (Nationalrat/Conseil National/Consiglio Nazionale) 195 members are elected by open list proportional representation in multi-member constituencies and 5 members are elected by a plurality system.
Foreign Policy Trends: The Swiss Constitution declares the preservation of Switzerland's independence and welfare as the supreme objective of Swiss foreign policy. Below this overarching goal, the Constitution sets five specific foreign policy objectives: further the peaceful coexistence of nations; promote respect for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law; promote Swiss economic interests abroad; alleviate need and poverty in the world; and the preservation of natural resources. Switzerland (mainly Geneva) is home to many international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (whose flag is essentially the Swiss flag with colors reversed--the Red Cross historically being a Swiss organization). One of the first international organizations, the Universal Postal Union, is located in Bern.
Regional Trade Blocs: EFTA
Treaties: No multilateral military treaties
International Organization Participation Source: CIA World Factbook
|OPCW||OSCE||Pacific Alliance||Paris Club||PCA||PFP|
Note: Click table to see details
Environmental Agreements Source: CIA World Factbook
|Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides||Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants||Air Pollution-Sulfur 85||Air Pollution-Sulfur 94||Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds||Antarctic Treaty|
|Biodiversity||Climate Change||Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol||Air Pollution||Desertification||Endangered Species|
|Environmental Modification||Hazardous Wastes||Law of the Sea||Marine Dumping||Marine Life Conservation||Ozone Layer Protection|
|Ship Pollution||Tropical Timber 06||Wetlands||Whaling|
Note: Click table to see details
Tax Authority: Federal Tax Administration
Tax Name: VAT