“Governance” experiences: clear – tangible – practical
The Swiss governance system has features that make it interesting for visitors from everywhere:
- Federalism and decentralization: the Confederation, cantons and municipalities fulfill public tasks and deliver high quality services at three levels, often under their own responsibility but in close cooperation and coordination with each other, and with funding mechanisms that ensure financial equalization
- Consideration of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity: public decision-making mechanisms, institutions and procedures give room for the participation of multiple linguistic and political groups and responses to their positions
- Instruments of direct democracy: constitutional initiatives and referenda on legislation and administrative acts offer the population opportunities to participate directly in decision-making on important issues
- Power-sharing, consensus and concordance: governments at the Confederation, cantonal, and municipal levels follow the idea of integrating the political majority and minority groups into the responsibility of governing (concordance); decision-making processes promote a consensus orientation in politics at all levels
Being at the center of Swiss politics, the members of Capital Region Switzerland can give clear information on governance issues, providing practical insights into complex interrelations:
- How do cantonal and municipal authorities manage the evolving challenges in managing, organizing, and funding public tasks and services, for example water provision, sewage, waste management, energy, public transport, construction of public infrastructure, education, planning, environmental protection, economic promotion, tourism, security, social services, migration, integration?
- How are political decision-making procedures organized, for example in bilingual cantons and communities? How do civil society groups engage with political processes?
- How do the various levels of state authorities cooperate? How is fiscal equalization organized between the Confederation, the cantons and the municipalities? How do oversight mechanisms work to control cantons and municipalities?
- How is accountability generated and power controlled?
- How do the authorities balance diverse interests, for example in the case of big infrastructure projects? How is the population consulted? How are constructive solutions created and conflicts managed?
- How do elections and instruments of direct democracy work at the three levels of the state?