List of members of the Swiss Federal Council
The seven members of the Swiss Federal Council (German: Schweizerischer Bundesrat; French: Conseil fédéral suisse; Italian: Consiglio federale svizzero; Romansh: Cussegl federal svizzer) constitute the federal government of Switzerland and serve as the country's head of state. Each of the seven Councillors heads a department of the Swiss federal administration.
The members of the Federal Council are elected for a term of four years by both chambers of the federal parliament sitting together as the Federal Assembly. Each Councillor is elected individually by secret ballot by an absolute majority of votes. A person elected to the Council by the Federal Assembly is considered a Federal Councillor even if he or she declines the election. Accordingly, the five persons who did so and never assumed office are listed in a separate table below. For the same reason, the principal table only records the date of election, and not the date on which the Councillors assumed their office.
Once elected for a four-year-term, Federal Councillors can neither be voted out of office by a motion of no confidence nor can they be impeached. Re-election is possible for an indefinite number of terms. Parliament has decided not to re-elect a sitting Councillor only four times, and only twice (in 2003 and 2007) since the beginning of the 20th century. In practice, therefore, Councillors serve until they decide to resign and retire to private life, usually after three to five terms of office.
|№||Name||Portrait||Canton||Election||Left office||Department headed||Party||Presidency||Notes||Seq|
|1||Furrer, JonasJonas Furrer||ZH||16 November 1848||25 July 1861||Foreign affairs, Justice||FDP/PRD||1848–49
|Died in office||A01|
|2||Ochsenbein, UlrichUlrich Ochsenbein||BE||16 November 1848||6 December 1854||Defence||FDP/PRD||—||Not re-elected||B01|
|3||Druey, HenriHenri Druey||VD||16 November 1848||29 March 1855||Justice, Foreign affairs, Finance||FDP/PRD||1850||Died in office||C01|
|4||Munzinger, JosefJosef Munzinger||SO||16 November 1848||6 February 1855||Finance, Foreign affairs,
Posts and Construction,
Trade and Customs
|FDP/PRD||1851||Died in office||D01|
|5||Franscini, StefanoStefano Franscini||TI||16 November 1848||19 July 1857||Home affairs||FDP/PRD||—||Died in office||E01|
|6||Frey-Herosé, FriedrichFriedrich Frey-Herosé||AG||16 November 1848||31 December 1866||Trade and Customs, Foreign affairs,
|7||Naeff, Wilhelm MatthiasWilhelm Matthias Naeff||SG||16 November 1848||31 December 1875||Posts and Construction, Foreign affairs,
Trade and Customs, Posts,
Finance, Railway and Trade
|8||Stampfli, JakobJakob Stämpfli||BE||6 December 1854||31 December 1863||Justice, Foreign affairs,
|9||Fornerod, ConstantConstant Fornerod||VD||11 July 1855||31 October 1867||Trade and Customs, Foreign affairs,
|10||Knüsel, Melchior Josef MartinMelchior Josef Martin Knüsel||LU||14 July 1855||31 December 1875||Finance, Trade and Customs, Justice,
Foreign affairs, Home affairs
|Elected after Johann Jakob Stehlin declined the election||D02|
|11||Pioda, Giovanni BattistaGiovanni Battista Pioda||TI||30 July 1857||26 January 1864||Home affairs||FDP/PRD||—||E02|
|12||Dubs, JakobJakob Dubs||ZH||30 July 1861||28 May 1872||Justice, Foreign affairs,
Home affairs, Posts
|13||Schenk, KarlKarl Schenk||BE||12 December 1863||18 July 1895||Home affairs, Finance,
Railway and Trade
|Died in office||B03|
|14||Challet-Venel, Jean-JacquesJean-Jacques Challet-Venel||GE||12 July 1864||7 December 1872||Finance, Posts||FDP/PRD||—||Not re-elected||E03|
|15||Welti, EmilEmil Welti||AG||8 December 1866||31 December 1891||Defence, Trade and Customs,
Posts and Telegraph,
Posts and Railways, Justice
|16||Ruffy, VictorVictor Ruffy||VD||6 December 1867||29 December 1869||Finance, Defence||FDP/PRD||—||Died in office||C03|
|17||Ceresole, PaulPaul Cérésole||VD||1 February 1870||31 December 1875||Finance, Defence,
Foreign affairs, Justice
|18||Scherer, Johann JakobJohann Jakob Scherer||ZH||12 July 1872||23 December 1878||Finance, Railway and Trade,
Foreign affairs, Defence
|FDP/PRD||1875||Died in office||A03|
|19||Borel, EugèneEugène Borel||NE||7 December 1872||31 December 1875||Posts and Telegraph||FDP/PRD||—||E04|
|20||Heer, JoachimJoachim Heer||GL||10 December 1875||31 December 1878||Posts and Telegraph, Foreign affairs,
Railway and Trade
|21||Anderwert, FridolinFridolin Anderwert||TG||10 December 1875||25 December 1880||Justice||FDP/PRD||—||Died in office
|22||Hammer, BernhardBernhard Hammer||SO||10 December 1875||31 December 1890||Finance, Defence||FDP/PRD||1879
|23||Droz, NumaNuma Droz||NE||18 December 1875||18 December 1892||Home affairs, Trade and Agriculture,
|Elected after Louis Ruchonnet and Charles Estoppey declined the election.||C05|
|24||Bavier, SimeonSimeon Bavier||GR||10 December 1878||5 January 1883||Finance, Posts and Railways, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1882||D04|
|25||Hertenstein, WilhelmWilhelm Hertenstein||ZH||21 March 1879||27 November 1888||Defence||FDP/PRD||1888||Died in office||A04|
|26||Ruchonnet, LouisLouis Ruchonnet||VD||3 March 1881||14 September 1893||Economic affairs, Justice, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1883
|Elected after Karl Hoffmann declined his election. Died in office||G03|
|27||Deucher, AdolfAdolf Deucher||TG||10 April 1883||10 July 1912||Justice, Posts and Railways, Economic affairs, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1886
|Died in office||D05|
|28||Hauser, WalterWalter Hauser||ZH||13 December 1888||22 October 1902||Defence, Finance, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1892
|Died in office||A05|
|29||Frey, EmilEmil Frey||BL||11 December 1890||11 March 1897||Defence||FDP/PRD||1894||E06|
|30||Zemp, JosefJosef Zemp||LU||17 December 1891||17 June 1908||Posts and Railways, Foreign affairs||CVP/PDC||1895
|31||Lachenal, AdrienAdrien Lachenal||GE||15 December 1892||31 December 1899||Foreign affairs, Economic affairs, Home affairs||FDP/PRD||1896||C06|
|32||Ruffy, EugèneEugène Ruffy||VD||14 December 1893||31 October 1899||Justice, Home affairs,
Foreign affairs, Defence
|33||Mueller, EduardEduard Müller||BE||16 August 1895||9 November 1919||Justice, Defence,
|Died in office||B04|
|34||Brenner, ErnstErnst Brenner||BS||25 March 1897||11 March 1911||Justice, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1901
|Died in office||E07|
|35||Comtesse, RobertRobert Comtesse||NE||14 December 1899||4 March 1912||Finance, Justice,
Posts and Railways, Foreign affairs
|36||Ruchet, Marc-EmileMarc-Emile Ruchet||VD||14 December 1899||9 July 1912||Home affairs, Finance,
|37||Forrer, LudwigLudwig Forrer||ZH||11 December 1902||7 December 1917||Economic affairs, Home affairs, Foreign affairs, Defence, Justice, Posts and Railways||FDP/PRD||1906
|38||Schobinger, Josef AntonJosef Anton Schobinger||LU||17 June 1908||27 November 1911||Justice, Economic affairs, Finance, Home affairs||CVP/PDC||—||F04|
|39||Hoffmann, ArthurArthur Hoffmann||SG||4 April 1911||19 June 1917||Justice, Defence,
|40||Motta, GiuseppeGiuseppe Motta||TI||14 December 1911||23 January 1940||Finance, Foreign affairs||CVP/PDC||1915
|41||Perrier, LouisLouis Perrier||NE||12 March 1912||16 May 1913||Posts and Railways, Home affairs||FDP/PRD||—||C08|
|42||Decoppet, CamilleCamille Decoppet||VD||17 July 1912||7 November 1919||Home affairs, Justice, Defence||FDP/PRD||1916||G06|
|43||Schulthess, EdmundEdmund Schulthess||AG||17 July 1912||15 April 1935||Economic affairs, Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1917
|44||Calonder, FelixFelix Calonder||GR||12 June 1913||12 February 1920||Home affairs, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1918||C09|
|45||Ador, GustaveGustave Ador||GE||26 June 1917||31 December 1919||Foreign affairs, Home affairs||LPS/PLS||1919||E09|
|46||Haab, RobertRobert Haab||ZH||13 December 1917||31 December 1929||Posts and Railways||FDP/PRD||1922
|47||Scheurer, KarlKarl Scheurer||BE||11 December 1919||14 November 1929||Defence||FDP/PRD||1923||Died in office||B05|
|48||Chuard, ErnestErnest Chuard||VD||11 December 1919||31 December 1928||Home affairs||FDP/PRD||1924||G07|
|49||Musy, Jean-MarieJean-Marie Musy||FR||11 December 1919||30 April 1934||Finance||CVP/PDC||1925
|50||Häberlin, HeinrichHeinrich Häberlin||TG||12 February 1920||12 March 1934||Justice||FDP/PRD||1926
|51||Pilet-Golaz, MarcelMarcel Pilet-Golaz||VD||13 December 1928||7 November 1944||Home affairs, Posts and Railways,
|52||Minger, RudolfRudolf Minger||BE||12 December 1929||31 December 1940||Defence||SVP/UDC||1935||B06|
|53||Meyer, AlbertAlbert Meyer||ZH||12 December 1929||31 December 1938||Home affairs, Finance||FDP/PRD||1936||A08|
|54||Baumann, JohannesJohannes Baumann||AR||22 March 1934||31 December 1940||Justice||FDP/PRD||1938||C11|
|55||Etter, PhilippPhilipp Etter||ZG||28 March 1934||19 November 1959||Home affairs||CVP/PDC||1939
|56||Obrecht, HermannHermann Obrecht||SO||4 April 1935||20 June 1940||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||—||D07|
|57||Wetter, ErnstErnst Wetter||ZH||15 December 1938||31 December 1943||Finance||FDP/PRD||1941||A09|
|58||Celio, EnricoEnrico Celio||TI||22 February 1940||23 June 1950||Posts and Railways||CVP/PDC||1943
|59||Stampfli, WaltherWalther Stampfli||SO||18 July 1940||18 November 1947||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1944||D08|
|60||Steiger, Eduard vonEduard von Steiger||BE||10 December 1940||9 November 1951||Justice||SVP/UDC||1945
|61||Kobelt, KarlKarl Kobelt||SG||10 December 1940||5 November 1954||Defence||FDP/PRD||1946
|62||Nobs, ErnstErnst Nobs||ZH||15 December 1943||13 November 1951||Finance||SPS/PSS||1949||A10|
|63||Petitpierre, MaxMax Petitpierre||NE||14 December 1944||30 June 1961||Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||1950
|64||Rubattel, RodolpheRodolphe Rubattel||VD||11 December 1947||1 November 1954||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1954||D09|
|65||Escher, JosefJosef Escher||VS||14 September 1950||26 November 1954||Posts and Railways||CVP/PDC||—||F07|
|66||Feldmann, MarkusMarkus Feldmann||BE||13 December 1951||3 November 1958||Justice||SVP/UDC||1956||B08|
|67||Weber, MaxMax Weber||ZH||13 December 1951||8 December 1953||Finance||SPS/PSS||—||A11|
|68||Streuli, HansHans Streuli||ZH||22 December 1953||19 November 1959||Finance||FDP/PRD||1957||A12|
|69||Holenstein, ThomasThomas Holenstein||SG||16 December 1954||20 November 1959||Economic affairs||CVP/PDC||1958||F08|
|70||Chaudet, PaulPaul Chaudet||VD||16 December 1954||28 November 1966||Defence||FDP/PRD||1959
|71||Lepori, GiuseppeGiuseppe Lepori||TI||16 December 1954||24 November 1959||Posts and Railways||CVP/PDC||—||C13|
|72||Wahlen, Friedrich TraugottFriedrich Traugott Wahlen||BE||11 December 1958||31 December 1965||Justice, Economic affairs,
|73||Bourgknecht, JeanJean Bourgknecht||FR||17 December 1959||3 September 1962||Finance||CVP/PDC||—||E12|
|74||Spuhler, WillyWilly Spühler||ZH||17 December 1959||31 January 1970||Posts and Railways,
Transport, Energy, Communications,
|75||Moos, Ludwig vonLudwig von Moos||OW||17 December 1959||31 December 1971||Justice||CVP/PDC||1964
|76||Tschudi, Hans-PeterHans-Peter Tschudi||BS||17 December 1959||31 December 1973||Home affairs||SPS/PSS||1965
|77||Schaffner, HansHans Schaffner||AG||15 June 1961||31 December 1969||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1966||G10|
|78||Bonvin, RogerRoger Bonvin||VS||27 September 1962||31 December 1973||Finance,
Transport, Energy, Communications
|79||Gnägi, RudolfRudolf Gnägi||BE||8 December 1965||31 December 1979||Transport, Energy, Communications,
|80||Celio, NelloNello Celio||TI||15 December 1966||31 December 1973||Defence, Finance||FDP/PRD||1972||D11|
|81||Graber, PierrePierre Graber||NE||10 December 1969||31 January 1978||Foreign affairs||SPS/PSS||1975||A14|
|82||Brugger, ErnstErnst Brugger||ZH||10 December 1969||31 January 1978||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1974||G11|
|83||Furgler, KurtKurt Furgler||SG||8 December 1971||31 December 1986||Justice, Economic affairs||CVP/PDC||1977
|84||Ritschard, WilliWilli Ritschard||SO||5 December 1973||3 October 1983||Transport, Energy, Communications,
|SPS/PSS||1978||Died in office||C15|
|85||Hurlimann, HansHans Hürlimann||ZG||5 December 1973||31 December 1982||Home affairs||CVP/PDC||1979||E14|
|86||Chevallaz, Georges-AndréGeorges-André Chevallaz||VD||5 December 1973||31 December 1983||Finance, Defence||FDP/PRD||1980||D12|
|87||Honegger, FritzFritz Honegger||ZH||7 December 1977||31 December 1982||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1982||G12|
|88||Aubert, PierrePierre Aubert||NE||7 December 1977||31 December 1987||Foreign affairs||SPS/PSS||1983
|89||Schlumpf, LeonLeon Schlumpf||GR||5 December 1979||31 December 1987||Transport, Energy, Communications||SVP/UDC||1984||B11|
|90||Egli, AlphonsAlphons Egli||LU||8 December 1982||31 December 1986||Home affairs||CVP/PDC||1986||E15|
|91||Friedrich, RudolfRudolf Friedrich||ZH||8 December 1982||20 October 1984||Justice||FDP/PRD||—||G13|
|92||Stich, OttoOtto Stich||SO||7 December 1983||31 October 1995||Finance||SPS/PSS||1988
|93||Delamuraz, Jean-PascalJean-Pascal Delamuraz||VD||7 December 1983||30 March 1998||Defence, Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||1989
|94||Kopp, ElisabethElisabeth Kopp||ZH||2 October 1984||12 January 1989||Justice||FDP/PRD||—||G14|
|95||Koller, ArnoldArnold Koller||AI||10 December 1986||13 January 1999||Justice, Defence||CVP/PDC||1990
|96||Cotti, FlavioFlavio Cotti||TI||10 December 1986||13 January 1999||Home affairs, Foreign affairs||CVP/PDC||1991
|97||Felber, RenéRené Felber||NE||9 December 1987||31 March 1993||Foreign affairs||SPS/PSS||1992||A16|
|98||Ogi, AdolfAdolf Ogi||BE||9 December 1987||31 December 2000||Transport, Energy, Communications,
|99||Villiger, KasparKaspar Villiger||LU||1 February 1989||31 December 2003||Defence, Finance||FDP/PRD||1995
|100||Dreifuss, RuthRuth Dreifuss||GE||10 March 1993||31 December 2002||Home affairs||SPS/PSS||1999||Elected after Francis Matthey declined the election.||A17|
|101||Leuenberger, MoritzMoritz Leuenberger||ZH||27 September 1995||1 November 2010||Transport, Energy, Communications||SPS/PSS||2001
|102||Couchepin, PascalPascal Couchepin||VS||11 March 1998||31 October 2009||Economic affairs, Home affairs||FDP/PRD||2003
|103||Metzler-Arnold, RuthRuth Metzler-Arnold||AI||11 March 1999||31 December 2003||Justice||CVP/PDC||—||Not re-elected||F12|
|104||Deiss, JosephJoseph Deiss||FR||11 March 1999||31 July 2006||Foreign affairs, Economic affairs||CVP/PDC||2004||E17|
|105||Schmid, SamuelSamuel Schmid||BE||6 December 2000||31 December 2008||Defence||BDP||2005||Elected for SVP/UDC||B13|
|106||Calmy-Rey, MichelineMicheline Calmy-Rey||GE||4 December 2002||31 December 2011||Foreign affairs||SPS/PSS||2007
|107||Blocher, ChristophChristoph Blocher||ZH||10 December 2003||31 December 2007||Justice||SVP/UDC||—||Not re-elected.||F13|
|108||Merz, Hans-RudolfHans-Rudolf Merz||AR||10 December 2003||1 November 2010||Finance||FDP/PRD||2009||G16|
|109||Leuthard, DorisDoris Leuthard||AG||14 June 2006||Incumbent||Economic Affairs,
Transport, Energy, Communications
|110||Widmer-Schlumpf, EvelineEveline Widmer-Schlumpf||GR||12 December 2007||Incumbent||Justice,
|BDP||2012||Initially elected for SVP/UDC||F14|
|111||Maurer, UeliUeli Maurer||ZH||10 December 2008||Incumbent||Defence||SVP/UDC||2013||B14|
|112||Burkhalter, DidierDidier Burkhalter||NE||16 September 2009||Incumbent||Home affairs, Foreign affairs||FDP/PRD||—||D15|
|113||Sommaruga, SimonettaSimonetta Sommaruga||BE||22 September 2010||Incumbent||Justice||SPS/PSS||—||C18|
|114||Schneider-Ammann, JohannJohann Schneider-Ammann||BE||22 September 2010||Incumbent||Economic affairs||FDP/PRD||—||G17|
|115||Berset, AlainAlain Berset||FR||14 December 2011||Incumbent||Home affairs||SPS/PSS||—||A19|
Free Democratic Party (FDP/PRD) after 1894; previously a more or less coherent group of Liberals, Radicals and Democrats
Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC)
Liberal Party (LPS/PLS)
Swiss People's Party (SVP/UDC) after 1971; previously Party of Farmers, Traders and Independents (BGB/PAI) and associated minor parties
Social Democratic Party (SPS/PSS)
Conservative Democratic Party (BDP/PBD) The Councillors currently serving are indicated with bold type.
Members who declined their election
Five people have declined their election to the Federal Council by the Federal Assembly. Their number here is that of the Federal Councillor in the list above who was later elected in their place.
|10||Stehlin, Johann JakobJohann Jakob Stehlin||BS||11 July 1855||FDP/PRD|
|23||Ruchonnet, LouisLouis Ruchonnet||VD||10 December 1875||FDP/PRD||Later elected as 26th member.|
|23||Estoppey, CharlesCharles Estoppey||VD||18 December 1875||FDP/PRD|
|26||Hoffmann, KarlKarl Hoffmann||SG||22 February 1881||FDP/PRD|
|100||Matthey, FrancisFrancis Matthey||NE||3 March 1993||SPS/PSS|
Notes and references
- Swiss Federal Constitution / Bundesverfassung (BV) / Constitution fédérale (Cst.) / Costituzione federale (Cost.) of 1999-02-07, SR/RS 101 (E·D·F·I), art. 177 (E·D·F·I).
- This is the prevailing reading of the relevant constitutional provision: Swiss Federal Constitution / Bundesverfassung (BV) / Constitution fédérale (Cst.) / Costituzione federale (Cost.) of 1999-02-07, SR/RS 101 (E·D·F·I), art. 175 (E·D·F·I).
- Federal Council in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- For the abbreviations, see Data codes for Switzerland: Cantons. Up until 1987, the Federal Chancellery recorded the Councillors' legal place of origin. From 1987 on, the canton in which the Councillors live has been recorded, or, for councillors who were members of the Federal Assembly, the canton whose population they represented.
- The names of the federal departments have changed over the years. Generic names have been used as much as possible.
- The sequence number indicates to which of the seven seats (denoted by the letters A to G) the Councillor was elected.
- As President of the Confederation. The department used to be held by councillors during the annually changing office of President of the Confederation.
- Ulrich Ochsenbein in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- Philippe Chenaux: Jean-Jacques Challet (-Venel) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 2003-09-16.
- Fridolin Anderwert in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- Franz Xaver Bischof: Ruth Metzler (-Arnold) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland, 2007-11-27.
- "Schmid announces resignation". Swissinfo. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
- "Blocher ousted by Swiss parliament". Swissinfo. December 12, 2007.
- Beginnings of the Free Democratic Party in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Members of the Swiss Federal Council.|
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "The Swiss Confederation: A brief guide 2007". Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Services of the Swiss Parliament. "Resultate der Wahlen des Bundesrats, der Bundeskanzler und des Generals" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "Chronological index of Federal Councillors". Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "Members of the Federal Council who declined election". Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Church, Clive H. (2004). The Politics and Government of Switzerland. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69277-2.