Direct Democracy in Switzerland – How does that look like in practice? This question is at the heart of the conversations that a delegation from Serbia will have with a series of experts from Swiss institutions and organisations during their visit to Bern and Biel, from 17 to 21 June. Headed by Mr. Saša Mogic, Assistant Minister in the Serbian Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, the delegation from the ministry as well as the Standing Conference of Serbian Towns and Municipalities will reflect on the Swiss experience with a view to developing instruments of direct democracy for their own political system. The program will provide opportunities for discussing a variety of aspects of direct democracy at the federal, cantonal and municipal level.
Mandated by and in cooperation with Swiss Development Cooperation, PolitExchange (the competence center of the Capital Region Switzerland for governance study visits) welcomes a high-level delegation from Laos to a short visit to Bern, from 5 to 9 September. The group is lead by HE Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, vice minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The visitors are interested in understanding the Swiss political system and the Swiss experience regarding the relations between national, cantonal and municipal administrations, on planning and financing public services and tasks. The various forms of political participation and the engagement of civil society in Switzerland will also be discussed. In addition, there will be an exchange with Swiss authorities on the first experience with the implementation of the international Agenda 2030 for sustainable development.
The program foresees discussions with the federal authorities in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Administration of Finance. In addition, visits are planned to the Federal Parliament, the Bernese Great Council, the municipality of Köniz as well as to the region of the lake of Biel/Bienne. At the wine festival in La Neuveville the delegation will get an impression from civil society engagement and the interrelations between citizens and local authorities in Switzerland.
The 8 women parliamentarians from Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan) have left, after 8 intensive days of lively discussions. They all showed a great interest in how Swiss parliaments are working in a consensus oriented way, and how different opinions and interests are accommodated and compromise is found. They asked many questions that were not always easy to answer by the experts. For example: Why is the representation of women and men in Swiss parliaments still far from equal, and there is even a negative trend in terms of women’s representation?
On behalf and together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC, PolitExchange is welcoming a delegation of 8 women parliamentarians from Pakistan. The parliamentarians are part of the Women Parliamentary Caucus of the Parliamentary Assembly of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Together with UN Women, Swiss Development Cooperation is supporting the work of the Women Parliamentary Caucus to increase women’s political empowerment, and pass legislation on gender related issues, particularly on domestic violence.
From 27 March to 1 April 2017, a delegation from Bulgaria visited Switzerland to look at and discuss participatory processes in the context of contentious projects. The delegation included members of the Administration of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Executive Forestry Agency, the Road and Infrastructure Agency, Ministry of Regional Development, the Sofia Municipality, the Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, and the Swiss Contribution Office in Sofia.
From 25 to 31 March, a delegation from Libya will be visiting Switzerland, as part of a programme implemented by the Peaceful Change initiative (PCi). The programme aims to build partnerships between local authorities and community groups in Libya with a view to mitigating conflict and building social peace. The Programme is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government, by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and by the EU. Read more
With the conceptual and organizational support of PolitExchange, a delegation from Albania led by the State Minister of Local Affairs, Mr. Bledar Cuçi, visited Bern and Interlaken from 5 – 9 February 2017. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Swiss Development Cooperation had invited the delegation for a short but substantial exchange on issues of decentralization and fighting corruption, in the context of Swiss support to Albania in this field.