List of members of the Swiss Federal Council by date
This is a list of members of the Swiss Federal Council, 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.
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 1872. In practice, therefore, Councillors serve until they decide to resign and retire to private life, usually after three to five terms of office.
- German: Schweizerischer Bundesrat, French: Conseil fédéral suisse, Italian: Consiglio federale svizzero, Romansh: Cussegl federal svizzer.
- 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)
- 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)
- Federal Council in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
- 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.
- Not reelected (Jean-Jacques Challet-Venel, Ulrich Ochsenbein, Ruth Metzler, Christoph Blocher)
- The office was previously declined by the first person elected:
- 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.
- Traditional "magic formula" of the Council's composition established: FDP/PRD 2, CVP/PDC 2, SPS/PSS 2, SVP/UDC 1.
- Government composition changed for the first time since 1959: FDP/PRD 2, SPS/PSS 2, SVP/UDC 2, CVP/PDC 1.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "The Swiss Confederation: A brief guide 2007". Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Services of the Swiss Parliament. "Resultate der Wahlen des Bundesrats, der Bundeskanzler und des Generals" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "Chronological index of Federal Councillors". Archived from the original on 2 January 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Swiss Federal Chancellery. "Members of the Federal Council who declined election". Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Church, Clive H. (2004). The Politics and Government of Switzerland. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-69277-2.