Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
|Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)|
|Jurisdiction||Federal administration of Switzerland|
|Annual budget||Expenditure: CHF 2.3 billion
Revenue: CHF 82.1 million
|Minister responsible||Didier Burkhalter, Federal Councillor|
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) (German: Eidgenössisches Departement für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, French: Département fédéral des affaires étrangères, Italian: Dipartimento federale degli affari esteri, formerly known as the Eidgenössisches Politisches Departement) is a department of the federal administration of Switzerland. It is charged with maintaining the foreign relations of Switzerland and serves as Switzerland's ministry of foreign affairs. As of 2012, the department is headed by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter.
The FDFA is composed of a General Secretariat and the State Secretariat, to which the department's directorates and agencies are subordinate.
 General Secretariat
As the FDFA’s staff office, the General Secretariat supports the foreign minister in the management of the department. It plans and coordinates all departmental activities. It is also responsible for public relations, supervising the embassies and consulates, coordinating the department’s information and communications technology and implementing the federal Act on Freedom of Information within the federal administration.
As of 2008, the General Secretariat is led by Secretary-General Peter Müller. It has a staff of 53, no revenues and annual expenditures of CHF 45 million.
Presence Switzerland, which reports to the General Secretariat, is an agency charged with promoting Switzerland abroad.
 State Secretariat
The Secretary of State is second in command in the department, and the principal foreign policy advisor of the Swiss Federal Council. He heads the Directorate of Political Affairs and is responsible for the development and strategic planning of Swiss foreign policy and for reporting to the political authorities. The State Secretary deputises for the Head of Department when necessary, for example at meetings of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Swiss National Council and the Council of States. He is also responsible for maintaining regular contacts with his counterparts abroad and in Bern. Important dossiers include cooperation with the UN, the further development of Switzerland’s relations with the EU as well as security and peace policy.
The Integration Office, a joint office of the FDFA and the FDEA, reports to the State Secretariat. The Integration Office coordinates relations with the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The protocol section, responsible for diplomatic protocol, ceremony and precedence, is also part of the State Secretariat.
As of 2010, the State Secretariat is led by Secretary of State Peter Maurer. Together with the Directorate of Political Affairs, it has a staff of 271, no revenue and annual expenditures of CHF 270 million.
 Directorate of Political Affairs
Also led by the Secretary of State, the Directorate of Political Affairs is the central office for collecting and processing the information needed to implement Swiss foreign policy. It is the office within the Department where Switzerland’s foreign policy is formulated and to which all Switzerland’s missions abroad report. The Directorate has four geographical and five thematic divisions:
- Political Affairs Division I (Europe, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, cross-border cooperation)
- Political Affairs Division II / The Americas
- Political Affairs Division II / Africa and the Middle East
- Political Affairs Division II / Asia-Pacific
- Political Affairs Division III / United Nations, Swiss activities in international organisations, host-state policy, Francophonie
- Political Affairs Division IV (Peace policy and human security, human rights policy, humanitarian policy and migration, Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peace Building)
- Political Affairs Division V (financial and economic issues; the environment, transport, energy and science; cultural affairs)
- Political Affairs Division VI (services for and policy on the Swiss diaspora, consular protection, travel information and crisis management)
- Secretariat of Political Affairs (analyses, documentation and planning; international security policy)
 Directorate of Corporate Management
The Directorate of Corporate Management (DCM) is responsible for managing Swiss consular services and the department's resources such as personnel, finance, logistics, IT equipment and licences. It also manages the network of Swiss diplomatic and consular representations. The SDC is responsible for the security of these representations, and also for the communication channels and coordination between the Swiss representations abroad and the head office in Bern.
In addition, legislation, the application of law and legal advice for the department (with the exception of questions of international law) are included in the DM’s remit. The Swiss Government Travel Centre, which organises the official international travel arrangements for the whole of the federal administration and the government VIP aircraft, is also part of this directorate. As of May 2008, the directorship of the DCM is vacant. The DCM has a staff of 306, annual revenues of CHF 40 million and annual expenditures of CHF 174 million.
 Directorate of Public International Law
The Directorate of Public International Law serves as the “legal conscience” of the FDFA and as the government’s central office for international law. It deals with topics such as neutrality, human rights and international humanitarian law, the legal aspects of cross-border cooperation, and the issue of dealing with the proceeds of corruption.
The Directorate of International Law is charged with ensuring that Switzerland meets its international legal obligations both abroad and at home. It is involved in the negotiation, conclusion and implementation of agreements based on international law. It is also responsible for ensuring that Swiss legal claims vis-à-vis foreign states and entities are enforced. As of 2008, the DPIL is led by Director Paul Seger. It has a staff of 41, no revenues and annual expenditures of CHF 6 million.
 Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) engages in development cooperation and provides humanitarian aid on behalf of Switzerland. As of 2008, the FOGE is led by Director Martin Dahinden. It has a staff of 536, no revenues and annual expenditures of CHF 1,433 million.
 List of heads of department
Until 1978, the department was called the "Political Department" and was traditionally headed by the annually rotating President of the Confederation.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery, The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide 2009
- The following sections have been adapted from The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide 2008, pp. 50 et seq.. The text of that publication is in the public domain in Switzerland. All figures are as of 2008, unless otherwise noted.