"Pluralism is our country’s engine"

As every year on a Wednesday in December, the Federal Assembly, in which the two chambers of the Swiss Parliament come together, elects the President of the Confederation. On 8 December 2021, the baton passes to Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis. Video, images and key messages from the day.

Close-up of Ignazio Cassis and Alain Berset in Parliament during the election. They carry bouquets of flowers.
On 8 December 2021, Ignazio Cassis and Alain Berset were elected President of the Swiss Confederation and Vice-President of the Federal Council respectively. © Keystone

Election and words to the Federal Assembly

"President Guy Parmelin, in a period of great uncertainty you listened to the country and showed calm, modesty and a willingness to compromise. An example of Swiss-made!” This is how Ignazio Cassis opened his speech to the Federal Assembly. On this Swiss-made he intends to anchor his presidential year. "In times of crisis caused by the pandemic, we need to rethink the reasons that unite us: the pluralism of cultures and ideas is the engine that drives us to get back on our feet and find new solutions together.

Cultivating a plurality of cultures and ideas had always been a challenge for Switzerland, and Switzerland had succeeded in turning this into an innovative model of government over the centuries. Plurality creates better ideas, the spirit of innovation, the willingness to understand others and to seek compromises. It creates the strength to overcome any crisis. "The pandemic has separated us but it has not driven us apart. It will never divide us. May 2022 be a year of listening to each other and of creativity – so that we rediscover ourselves even stronger and more united than before".  

Speech by the President of the Swiss Confederation (Original Version)

The President's roles and duties

What does the President of the Swiss Confederation do? The United Federal Assembly elects the President for a one-year term. In relation to the other members of the Federal Council the President is considered to be 'primus inter pares' (first among equals), but also assumes traditional functions and duties during the year in office.

These include representational duties and chairing Federal Council meetings. 

Last update 01.01.2023

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