Who is what in Swiss Government 2016

BERN – Switzerland’s will “to guarantee employment and prosperity” is the theme portrayed by the Swiss Federal Council in its 2016 official photo taken inside a Swiss factory featuring five factory workers. 

The Federal Council—elected every four years by the Parliament—is made up by the seven Ministers who manage the various Swiss cabinets. One of the Ministers leads the Council as Chair for one year, effectively becoming the Confederation’s symbolic President. The President also leads one of seven federal executive departments.

The 2016 President of the Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, who is also the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, wanted a photo that would reflect Switzerland’s intentions to “create or strengthen the conditions that will guarantee employment and prosperity.”

In addition to factory workers, the photo taken by Edouard Rieben and Nina Líška Rieben features the newest Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, member of the ultra-conservative right-wing group, the UDC. Parmeling, is the first French-speaking ultra conservative elected to the council. 

Also in the photo, the new Confederation Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr, who unlike the other seven does not lead a ministry, mostly playing an administrative role in government. 

From left to right:

  • the Minister of Interior, Alain Berset, a Social Democrat;
  • the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter from the Libéraux-Radicaux;
  • the Minister of Environment, Transportation, Energy and Communications and Vice-President of Switzerland, Doris Leuthard, from the Christian-Democrats;
  • the Minister of Economic Affairs, Education and Research and current President of the Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, also from the Libéraux-Radicaux;
  • the Minister of Finance, Ueli Maurer, also from the UDC;
  • the Minister of Justice and Police, Simonetta Sommaruga, also a Social Democrat;
  • the Minister of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports, Guy Parmelin, from the UDC;
  • and Walter Thurnherr, Chancellor.

The seven ministers and the chancellor can be also seen individually here below:

Swiss Federal Council 2016


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