Federal Chancellor of Switzerland
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Federal Chancellor of Switzerland

Federal Chancellor of Switzerland
Other official names
    • Bundeskanzler(in)  (German)
    • Chancelier(-ière) de la Confédération  (French)
    • Cancelliere(-a) della Confederazione  (Italian)
    • Chancelier(a) da la Confederaziun  (Romansh)
Logo der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft.svg
Federal logo of the Swiss Confederation
Walter Thurnherr (2015).jpg
Walter Thurnherr

since 1 January 2016
ResidenceFederal Palace of Switzerland
Term lengthFour years, renewable
Inaugural holderJean-Marc Mousson

The Federal Chancellor (German: Bundeskanzler(in); French: Chancelier(-ière) fédéral(e); Italian: Cancelliere(-a) della Confederazione; Romansh: Chancelier(a) federal(a)) is the head of the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland, the oldest Swiss federal institution, established at the initiative of Napoleon in 1803. The officeholder acts as the general staff of the seven-member Federal Council. The Swiss Chancellor is not a member of the government; the office of Chancellor is not at all comparable to that of the Chancellor of Germany or the Chancellor of Austria.[1]

The Federal Chancellor is elected for a four-year term by the Federal Assembly, assembled together as the United Federal Assembly, at the same time as it elects the Federal Council. The current Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr, a member of The Centre from Aargau, was elected on 9 December 2015. He began his term on 1 January 2016. Thurnherr was reelected on 11 December 2019.


One or two Vice-Chancellors are also appointed. In contrast to the Chancellor, they are appointed directly by the Federal Council. Prior to 1852, the position was called the State Secretary of the Confederation. The two current Vice-Chancellors are André Simonazzi from Valais (Independent) since 2009 (also spokesman of the Federal Council) and Viktor Rossi from Bern (GLP/PVL) since 2019.


The position is a political appointment and has only a technocratic role.

The Chancellor attends meetings of the Federal Council but does not have a vote. The Chancellor also prepares the Federal Council's reports to the Federal Assembly on its policy and activities. Still, the Chancellor's position is often referred to as that of an 'eighth Federal Councillor'. The chancellery is also responsible for the publication of all federal laws.[2]

List of Federal Chancellors

See also



  1. ^ Siegenthaler, Peter (31 December 2019). "What does the Swiss chancellor actually do?". Swissinfo. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Federal Chancellor Walter Thurnherr", www.bk.admin.ch.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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