List of members of the Swiss Federal Council by date

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For a chronological list of Councillors serving together, see List of members of the Swiss Federal Council.
The Swiss Federal Council and the Federal Chancellor as of February 2008. From left to right: Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Moritz Leuenberger, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Pascal Couchepin, Samuel Schmid, Doris Leuthard, Hans-Rudolf Merz, Federal Chancellor Corina Casanova.

This is a list of members of the Swiss Federal Council,[1] in chronological order and for any given year since inauguration of the federal council, from 1848 to present. The Council's seven members 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.[2]

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.[3] 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 1872. In practice, therefore, Councillors serve until they decide to resign and retire to private life, usually after three to five terms of office.[4]

Chronological, global[edit]

Decade First day in office[5] Federal councilors
1848 16 November 1848 Ulrich Ochsenbein[6] Jonas Furrer Josef Munzinger Henri Druey Friedrich Frey-Herosé Wilhelm Matthias Naeff Stefano Franscini
1850s
31 December 1854 Jakob Stämpfli
11 July 1855[7] Constant Fornerod
14 July 1855 Melchior Josef Martin Knüsel
30 July 1857 Giovanni Battista Pioda
1860s
30 July 1861 Jakob Dubs
31 December 1863 Karl Schenk
12 July 1864 Jean-Jacques Challet-Venel[6]
31 December 1866 Emil Welti
31 October 1867 Victor Ruffy
1870s
1 February 1870 Paul Cérésole
28 May 1872 Johann Jakob Scherer
31 December 1872 Eugène Borel
31 December 1875[7][8] Joachim Heer Numa Droz Fridolin Anderwert Bernhard Hammer
31 December 1878[8] Simeon Bavier
1880s
3 March 1881[7] Louis Ruchonnet
10 April 1883 Adolf Deucher
13 December 1888 Wilhelm Friedrich Hertenstein
1890s
31 December 1890 Emil Frey
31 December 1891 Josef Zemp
31 December 1892 Adrien Lachenal
14 December 1893 Eugène Ruffy
16 August 1895 Eduard Müller Walter Hauser
31 March 1897 Ernst Brenner
14 December 1899 Marc-Emile Ruchet
1900s 31 December 1899 Robert Comtesse
11 December 1902 Ludwig Forrer
17 June 1908 Josef Anton Schobinger
1910s
4 April 1911 Arthur Hoffmann
14 December 1911 Giuseppe Motta
12 March 1912 Louis Perrier
17 July 1912 Edmund Schulthess Camille Decoppet
12 June 1913 Felix-Louis Calonder
26 June 1917 Gustave Ador
31 December 1917 Robert Haab
11 December 1919 Karl Scheurer
31 December 1919 Ernest Chuard Jean-Marie Musy
1920s
12 February 1920 Heinrich Häberlin
31 December 1928 Marcel Pilet-Golaz
12 December 1929 Rudolf Minger Albert Meyer
1930s
30 April 1934 Johannes Baumann Philipp Etter
15 April 1935 Hermann Obrecht
31 December 1938 Ernst Wetter
1940s
22 February 1940 Enrico Celio
31 July 1940
10 December 1940 Eduard von Steiger Walther Stampfli
31 December 1940 Karl Kobelt
31 December 1943 Ernst Nobs
31 December 1944 Max Petitpierre
31 December 1947 Rodolphe Rubattel
1950s
15 October 1950 Josef Escher
13 December 1951 Markus Feldmann
31 December 1951 Max Weber
9 December 1954 Thomas Holenstein
31 December 1954 Hans Streuli Paul Chaudet Giuseppe Lepori
11 December 1958 Friedrich Traugott Wahlen
1960s 31 December 1959[9] Willy Spühler Hans-Peter Tschudi Ludwig von Moos Jean Bourgknecht
30 June 1961 Hans Schaffner
30 September 1962 Roger Bonvin
31 December 1965 Rudolf Gnägi
31 December 1966 Nello Celio
1970s 31 December 1969 Ernst Brugger
31 January 1970 Pierre Graber
31 December 1971 Kurt Furgler
1 December 1973 Willi Ritschard
31 December 1973 Georges-André Chevallaz Hans Hürlimann
31 January 1978 Pierre Aubert Fritz Honegger
1980s 31 December 1979 Leon Schlumpf
31 December 1982 Rudolf Friedrich Alphons Egli
7 December 1983 Otto Stich
31 December 1983 Jean-Pascal Delamuraz
20 October 1984 Elisabeth Kopp
31 December 1986 Arnold Koller Flavio Cotti
31 December 1987 Adolf Ogi René Felber
12 January 1989 Kaspar Villiger
1990s 1 January 1990
1 April 1993[7] Ruth Dreifuss
1 November 1995 Moritz Leuenberger
1 April 1998 Pascal Couchepin
1 May 1999 Ruth Metzler[6] Joseph Deiss
2000s
1 January 2001 Samuel Schmid
1 January 2003 Micheline Calmy-Rey
1 January 2004[10] Christoph Blocher[6] Hans-Rudolf Merz
1 August 2006 Doris Leuthard
1 January 2008 Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
1 January 2009 Ueli Maurer
1 November 2009 Didier Burkhalter
2010s 1 November 2010 Simonetta Sommaruga Johann Schneider-Ammann
1 January 2012 Alain Berset
30 July 2015

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ German: Schweizerischer Bundesrat, French: Conseil fédéral suisse, Italian: Consiglio federale svizzero, Romansh: Cussegl federal svizzer.
  2. ^ Swiss Federal Constitution / Bundesverfassung (BV) / Constitution fédérale (Cst.) / Costituzione federale (Cost.) of 7 February 1999, SR/RS 101 (E·D·F·I), art. 177 (E·D·F·I)
  3. ^ This is the prevailing reading of the relevant constitutional provision: Swiss Federal Constitution / Bundesverfassung (BV) / Constitution fédérale (Cst.) / Costituzione federale (Cost.) of 7 February 1999, SR/RS 101 (E·D·F·I), art. 175 (E·D·F·I)
  4. ^ Federal Council in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  5. ^ Members are elected by federal parliament for a four-year term and traditionally re-elected. If the predecessor died in office, date of election, otherwise – if available – first day in office.
  6. ^ a b c d Not reelected (Jean-Jacques Challet-Venel, Ulrich Ochsenbein, Ruth Metzler, Christoph Blocher)
  7. ^ a b c d The office was previously declined by the first person elected:
  8. ^ a b Exceptionally low representation of the French and Italian speaking cantons, compared to the German speaking ones (1:6). In recent years, those were overrepresented 3:4 (proportional to their population). Currently, the 2:5 proportion is close to the population proportion.
  9. ^ Traditional "magic formula" of the Council's composition established: FDP/PRD 2, CVP/PDC 2, SPS/PSS 2, SVP/UDC 1.
  10. ^ Government composition changed for the first time since 1959: FDP/PRD 2, SPS/PSS 2, SVP/UDC 2, CVP/PDC 1.

References[edit]