Green Party of Switzerland

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Green Party of Switzerland
German name Grüne Partei der Schweiz (GPS)
French name Les verts – Parti écologiste suisse (PES)
Italian name I Verdi – Partito ecologista svizzero (PES)
Romansh name La Verda – Partida ecologica svizra
President Regula Rytz (April 16, 2016)[1]
Adèle Thorens Goumaz and Regula Rytz by April 2015
Members of the Federal Council None
Founded May 28, 1983
Headquarters Waisenhausplatz 21
CH-3011 Bern
Membership  (2011) 6,500[2]
Ideology Green politics
Social progressivism
Political position Left-wing
European affiliation European Green Party
International affiliation Global Greens
National Council
11 / 200
Council of States
1 / 46
Cantonal legislatures
174 / 2,609

Swiss Federal Council
Federal Chancellor
Federal Assembly
Council of States (members)
National Council (members)

The Green Party of Switzerland (German: Grüne Partei der Schweiz; French: Les verts – Parti écologiste suisse; Italian: I Verdi – Partito ecologista svizzero; Romansh: La Verda – Partida ecologica svizra; "The Greens – Swiss ecological party") is the fifth-largest party in the National Council of Switzerland, and the largest party that is not represented on the Federal Council.


The first Green party in Switzerland was founded as a local party in 1971 in the town of Neuchâtel. In 1979, Daniel Brélaz was elected to the National Council as the first Green MP on the national level (in Switzerland and in the world). Local and regional Green parties and organisations were founded in many different towns and cantons in the following years.

In 1983, two different national green party federations were created: in May, diverse local green groups came together in Fribourg to form the Federation of Green Parties of Switzerland, and in June, some left-alternative groups formed the Green Alternative Party of Switzerland in Bern. In 1990, an attempt to combine these organisations failed. Afterwards, some of the member groups from the Green Alternative Party joined the Federation of Green Parties which has become the de facto national Green party. In 1993, the Federation of Green Parties changed its name to the Green Party of Switzerland.

In 1986, the first two Green members of a cantonal government become members of the Regierungsrat of Bern.

In 1987, the Green Party of Switzerland joined the European Federation of Green Parties.

In the 1990s, members of the Green Party became town mayors, members of the high court and even president of a cantonal government (Verena Diener in 1999).


The Green Party's positions in the Swiss political spectrum (2007).

The traditional emphases of the party's policies lie in environmentalism and green means of transportation. In terms of foreign policy, the greens set out on the course of openness and pacifism. In economic policy, the greens are center-left. The majority of greens support an accession of Switzerland to the European Union. In immigration policy, the greens support further integration initiatives for immigrants. The greens support measures to increase energy efficiency, oppose nuclear power, and support raising energy and fuel prices. According to their policy, the resulting revenues should be allocated to social security spending.

Popular support[edit]

Percentages of the Green Party at district level in 2011

National Council and Council of States[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of National Council
seats won
+/- # of Council of States
seats won
+/- Notes
1979 11,583 0.6
1 / 200
0 / 46
1983 37,079 1.9
3 / 200
Increase 2
0 / 46
1987 94,378 4.9
9 / 200
Increase 6
0 / 46
1991 124,149 6.1
14 / 200
Increase 5
0 / 46
1995 96,069 5.0
8 / 200
Decrease 6
0 / 46
1999 96,807 5.0
8 / 200
Steady 0
0 / 46
2003 156,226 7.4
13 / 200
Increase 5
0 / 46
2007 222,206 9.6
20 / 200
Increase 7
2 / 46
Increase 2
2011 205,984 8.4
15 / 200
Decrease 5
2 / 46
Steady 0
2015[3] 177,938 7.1
11 / 200
Decrease 4
1 / 46
Decrease 1

On the national level, in 2003 the Green Party was not represented in the Council of States or Federal Council. In 2007, two Green Party members were elected to the Council of States.[4]

By 2005, the party held 3.8 percent of the seats in the Swiss cantonal executive governments and 6.9 percent in the Swiss cantonal parliaments (index "BADAC", weighted with the population and number of seats). In 2007, the Green Party was represented in the governments of the cantons Bern, Basel-City, Geneva (two ministers), Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Vaud, Zug (two ministers) and Zurich.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Präsidium" (in German). Grüne Partei der Schweiz. Retrieved 2016-04-16. 
  2. ^ Der Bund kurz erklärt (in German). Swiss Confederation. 2011. p. 20. 
  3. ^ Bundesamt für Statistik. "Nationalratswahlen: Übersicht Schweiz". Retrieved 2015-10-19. 
  4. ^ NZZ Online, November 11, 2007 (German)

External links[edit]