The new President of the Confederation Alain Berset was confident in his New Year’s address on Sunday, despite the difficult times. The country remains united when necessary, he said.
“Yes, there are a lot of problems, but also countless people, in Switzerland and around the world, who are tackling them. That’s why we can look to the future with confidence,” said Alain Berset in his speech from the National Museum in Zurich.
In crises like the pandemic and now war in Europe, Switzerland has learned to stick together when needed, he said. Institutions are strong “and carry us”. Alain Berset notably mentioned social insurance, the health system and public finances.
In this context, the Fribourgeois also recalled the importance of the Federal Constitution of 1848. Switzerland owes him to live in security and prosperity. “It is to her that we owe our culture of dialogue”. It is on this commitment that Switzerland still bases itself today.
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Focus on what unites us
After the Sonderbund war, the victorious cantons did not simply draw up a new Constitution to impose on the defeated Catholic cantons: “No, they did it with them and created a sovereign state which was on a footing of equality with the European powers”.
According to him, the National Museum makes it possible to see the challenges Switzerland has faced and how it has overcome them. “We have given more importance to what unites us than to what separates us, and we have thus strengthened our cohesion”.
Alain Berset added that he was of course aware that not all the problems could be solved, but that it was a question of contributing to their resolution. “Engagement means that we open up, that we don’t close in on ourselves. Because we know that the problems of others will sooner or later become our own problems”.
To conclude his speech, the President of the Confederation wished everyone a happy new year “full of joy, curiosity and shared experiences”.
The 50-year-old Fribourgeois was elected President of the Confederation by Parliament on December 7th. He had already assumed the presidency in 2018.
>> What challenges for Switzerland in 2023? Listen to the debate between Johanna Gapany, vice-president of the PLR, Councilor to the Friborg States, and Carlo Sommaruga Councilor to the Geneva States, member of the Foreign Policy Committee.