Didier Burkhalter

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Didier Burkhalter
Didier Burkhalter 2011.jpg
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 November 2009
Preceded by Pascal Couchepin
President of Switzerland
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 January 2014
Vice President Simonetta Sommaruga
Preceded by Ueli Maurer
Vice President of Switzerland
In office
1 January 2013 – 31 December 2013
President Ueli Maurer
Preceded by Ueli Maurer
Succeeded by Simonetta Sommaruga
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
1 January 2012
Preceded by Micheline Calmy-Rey
Head of the Department of Home Affairs
In office
1 November 2009 – 31 December 2011
Preceded by Pascal Couchepin
Succeeded by Alain Berset
Personal details
Born (1960-04-17) 17 April 1960 (age 54)
Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Political party FDP.The Liberals
Spouse(s) Friedrun Sabine Burkhalter
Children 3
Residence Neuchâtel
Profession Economist

Didier Burkhalter (born 17 April 1960 in Neuchâtel) is a Swiss politician of FDP.The Liberals. He is the President of the Swiss Confederation for the year 2014. He was elected as member of the Swiss Federal Council on 16 September 2009, and succeeded Pascal Couchepin on 1 November 2009 when he became head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (the Swiss interior minister). On 16 December 2011, the Federal Council announced that as of 1 January 2012, Burkhalter will head the Department of Foreign Affairs.[1]

A native of the Canton of Neuchâtel, Burkhalter was member of the parliament of the Canton of Neuchâtel from 1990 to 2001. At the same time (from 1991 to 2005), he was a member of Neuchâtel's city government (Conseil communal) and its mayor several times (1994/1995, 1998/1998, 2001/2002). From 2003 to 2007, Burkhalter was a member of the Swiss National Council. He has a degree in economics. Burkhalter is married to a native Austrian and father of three children.[2]

On 11 November 2007, he was elected to the Council of States, along with Social Democratic Party (SP) candidate Gisèle Ory, who was re-elected for a second term. Pierre Bonhôte, the other social democratic incumbent, was not re-elected. During the election campaign, Burkhalter was backed by the Liberal Party (PLS) and the SVP/UDC, though the SVP/UDC scarcely endorsed him publicly.

In 2013, Burkhalter was elected as Vice President of the Confederation, alongside President Ueli Maurer, all but assuring his election as president in 2014. Due to a large amount of turnover on the Federal Council since the start of the millennium, Burkhalter is the longest-serving member of the Federal Council who at the time, had not yet served as president.

On 4 December 2013, Burkhalter was elected as President of the Swiss Confederation for the 2014 term by taking 183 of the available 222 votes of the Federal Assembly.[3][4]

On January 1, 2014 Burkhalter assumed the office as President of the Swiss Confederation. As President of the Confederation, Burkhalter presides over meetings of the Federal Council and carries out representative functions that would normally be handled by a head of state in other democracies (though in Switzerland, the Federal Council as a whole is regarded as the head of state). He is also the highest-ranking official in the Swiss order of precedence, and has the power to act on behalf of the whole Council in emergency situations. However, in most cases, the president is merely primus inter pares, with no powers over and above his six colleagues.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Burkhalter wird Aussen-, Berset Innenminister". Tages-Anzeiger (in German). 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  2. ^ Didier Burkhalter - Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, at Federal Administration admin.ch (in English). Retrieved 20-01-2014
  3. ^ Burkhalter: «Ich werde andere Krawatten tragen als Maurer», article on the website of Swiss Radio & Television srf.ch from December 4, 2013 (in German). Retrieved 20-01-2014
  4. ^ Ungewohntes Rampenlicht für den Aussenminister, article in the Tagesanzeiger from December 25, 2013 (in German). Retrieved 20-01-2014

External links[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Pascal Couchepin
Member of the Swiss Federal Council
2009–present
Incumbent
Head of the Department of Home Affairs
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Alain Berset
Preceded by
Micheline Calmy-Rey
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs
2012–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Ueli Maurer
Vice President of Switzerland
2013
Succeeded by
Simonetta Sommaruga
President of Switzerland
2014–present
Incumbent