Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked country situated at the confluence of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern.
Switzerland was the joint host, with Austria, of the Euro 2008 tournament. Many Swiss also follow ice hockey. In April 2009, Switzerland hosted the 2009 IIHF World Championship for the 10th time. The National League A is the most attended league in Europe. The many lakes in the country make Switzerland a good place for sailing.
History of Switzerland, 1499–1914 (1922) full text online; Ozment, Steven E. The Reformation in the Cities: The Appeal of Protestantism to Sixteenth-Century Germany and Switzerland (1975) Remak, Joachim. A Very Civil War. The Swiss Sonderbund War of 1847. (1993). Schelbert, Leo. Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (2007) excerpt and text ...
- Direct representation
- Federal level
- Cantonal level
- Political conditions
- Foreign relations
Switzerland is a semi-direct democratic federal republic. The federal legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Federal Assembly, the National Council and the Council of States. The Federal Council holds the executive power and is composed of seven power-sharing Federal Councillors elected by the Federal Assembly. The judicial branch is headed by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, whose judges are elected by the Federal Assembly. Political System of Switzerland Politisches Sy
Switzerland features a system of government not seen in any other nation: direct representation, sometimes called half-direct democracy. Referenda on the most important laws have been used since the 1848 constitution.
Federalism refers to a vertical separation of powers. The aim is to avoid the concentration of power in a forum, which allows a moderation of state power and the easing of the duties of the federal state. In Switzerland, it is above all a matter of designating the independence of the cantons vis-à-vis the Confederation.
In Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus citizens assemble each year for the Landsgemeinde to elect the cantonal government and judiciary and to vote on several issues on the agenda
Switzerland has a stable government. Most voters support the government in its philosophy of armed neutrality underlying its foreign and defense policies. Domestic policy poses some major problems, to the point that many observers deem that the system is in crisis but the changing international environment has generated a significant reexamination of Swiss policy in key areas such as defense, neutrality, and immigration. Quadrennial national elections typically produce only marginal changes in p
Switzerland has avoided alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action. In June 2001, Swiss voters approved new legislation providing for the deployment of armed Swiss troops for international peacekeeping missions under United Nations or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe auspices as well as international cooperation in military training. The Swiss have broadened the scope of activities in which they feel able to participate without compromising the
Switzerland is a member of many international organisations, including the World Trade Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, European Free Trade Association, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Atomic Energy Agency, and International Telecommunications Satellite Organization.
Below is a list of towns and cities in Switzerland.Until 2014 municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants were considered to be towns (German: Stadt/Städte, French: ville(s), Italian: città).
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- National languages and linguistic regions
The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh. German, French and Italian maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation, while Romansh is used in dealings with people who speak it. In some situations, Latin is used, particularly as a single language to denote the country. In 2017, the population of Switzerland was 62.6% native speakers of German; 22.9% French; 8.2% Italian; and 0
The German-speaking part of Switzerland constitutes about 65% of Switzerland. In seventeen of the Swiss cantons, German is the only official language. In the cantons of Bern, Fribourg and Valais, French is co-official; in the trilingual canton of Graubünden, more than half ...
Romandy is the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It covers the area of the cantons of Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Jura as well as the French-speaking parts of the cantons of Bern, Valais, and Fribourg. 1.9 million people live in Romandy. Standard Swiss French and the ...
Italian Switzerland is the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, which includes the canton of Ticino and the southern part of Grisons. Italian is also spoken in the Gondo Valley in Valais. The traditional vernacular of this region is the Lombard language, specifically its Ticines
To avoid having to translate the name of Switzerland in the four national languages, Latin is used on the coins of the Swiss franc and on Swiss stamps. The country code top-level domain for Switzerland on the internet is.ch, the abbreviation of the Latin name, Confoederatio Helvetica; similarly, the International vehicle registration code for Swiss automobiles is "CH". The Federal Palace of Switzerland bears the inscription Curia Confoederationis Helveticae. To have a unique name across the coun
The COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was confirmed to have spread to Switzerland on 25 February 2020 when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed following a COVID-19 outbreak in Italy .
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