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Federal logo of the <a href="/content/Swiss_Confederation" style="color:blue">Swiss Confederation</a>
Federal logo of the Swiss Confederation

The Federal Chancellor (German: Bundeskanzler(in); French: Chancelier(-ière) fédéral(e); Italian: Cancelliere(-a) della Confederazione; Romansh: Chancelier(a) federal(a)) is the head of the Federal Chancellery of Switzerland, which acts as the general staff of the seven-member Federal Council. The Swiss Chancellor is not a member of the government, and the office of Chancellor is not at all comparable to that of the Chancellors of Germany or the Chancellor of Austria.

The Federal Chancellor is elected for a four-year term by the Federal Assembly, assembled together as the United Federal Assembly, at the same time as it elects the Federal Council. The current Chancellor, Walter Thurnherr, a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party from Aargau, was elected on 9 December 2015 and began his term on 1 January 2016.


One or two vice-chancellors (before 1852, the position was called the State Secretary of the Confederation) are also appointed. In contrast to the chancellor, they are appointmented directly by the Federal Council.


The position is a political appointment and has only a technocratic role.

The Chancellor attends meetings of the Federal Council but does not have a vote. The Chancellor also prepares the Federal Council's reports to the Federal Assembly on its policy and activities. Still, the Chancellor's position is often referred to as that of an 'eighth Federal Councillor'. The chancellery is also responsible for the publication of all federal laws.

List of Federal Chancellors

See also


  • Chancellor of Switzerland in German [13] , French [14] and Italian [15] in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  • Hans-Urs Willi. "The Chancellor: a few historical highlights on the development of their person and the office from ancient times to the Middle Ages and the Zenden Republic of Valais [16] ". In Klaus, Michel (editor): Quelle chance pour nos institutions? Mélanges offerts à Monsieur François Couchepin, chancelier de la Confédération à l'occasion de son 60e anniversaire / Festschrift für Bundeskanzler François Couchepin zum 60. Geburtstag. Schlieren 1995. Translated by Paul Suffrin and Elsbeth Hagan.
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