Presence Switzerland

Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, and House of Switzerland team members in the UK in 2012. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Presence Switzerland is competent for the image of Switzerland abroad, and implements the strategy of the Federal Council on Switzerland’s communication abroad.

On the basis of the Federal Act on the Promotion of Switzerland’s image abroad, Presence Switzerland supports the protection of Switzerland’s interests by using various public relations tools. Its tasks include transmitting general knowledge about Switzerland, the forging of understanding for Switzerland, as well as a portrayal of Switzerland’s diversity and attractiveness. The strategic thrusts of Switzerland’s communication abroad are regularly reviewed and set down by the Federal Council anew for four-year periods. On 6 July 2016, the Federal Council adopted the Strategy 2016-2019 which, for the first time, is based on the premise of a thematic prioritization from which geographic priorities are determined.

Presence Switzerland implements its task of communication abroad in cooperation with the Swiss representations abroad, in coordination with the specialized departments, and with the involvement of private actors both at home and abroad. The activities it conducts are financed by a yearly budgetary estimate by the FDFA (2016: CHF 8.6 million), as well as by separate contributions of the Confederation for its presence at world exhibitions and Olympic Games.

Presence Switzerland was created in 2001 as a decentralized administrative unit within the FDFA in connection with the then-raging theme of dormant assets. In 2009, it was integrated into the FDFA General Secretariat. In June 2012, Presence Switzerland and the Cultural Foreign Policy Centre (CFPC) were merged in the General Secretariat under the direction of Presence Switzerland.