Didier Burkhalter

Didier Burkhalter ( born April 17, 1960 in Neuchâtel, full name Didier Burkhalter Eric, hometown entitled in Neuchâtel and Sumiswald ) is a Swiss politician ( FDP) and since 1 January 2014 for one year President of the Swiss Confederation.

On September 16, 2009, he was elected to succeed Couchepin in the Bundesrat. He took office on 1 November 2009 as Head of the Department of Home Affairs ( EDI). On January 1, 2012, he joined as a successor to Micheline Calmy -Rey, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs ( DFA). On December 5, 2012, the United Federal Assembly elected him with 205 of 237 votes as Vice-President for the year 2013. On December 4, 2013 Burkhalter was elected with 183 of 202 valid votes for President in 2014.

Political career

Burkhalter was until September 1990 politically active from May 1988 in the town of Hauterive. Between July 1991 and June 2005, he served in the city government of Neuchatel, besides he belonged, between May 1990 and May 2001 the cantonal parliament of the canton of Neuchâtel on. Since the 2003 elections to December 2007, he was the National Council. In the election of 11 November 2007 he was elected to the Senate. Since 2005, he was Vice President of FDP Liberal Group of the Federal Assembly, he also presided over the Senate group from 2007 until his inauguration as the Federal Council.

Political attitude

Burkhalter belongs neither to the right nor to the left wing of the FDP, advocated economic liberalization and an open foreign policy and also agrees otherwise agree in most respects with the line of his party. However, it is not a typical business representatives. He also takes a strong integration, advocated for example, the voting and voting rights for foreigners at the community level.


Burkhalter was nominated by his party, together with the right-wing liberal Geneva National Christian Lüscher for the Federal election in 2009. The CVP ported its own candidate, the Freiburg Senate and Group President Urs Schwaller. After Lüscher had declared his resignation after the third ballot, Burkhalter reached the fourth ballot an absolute majority by a margin of 23 votes to Schwaller. As the successor to Pascal Couchepin Burkhalter also took over the chairmanship of the Department of Home Affairs. Didier Burkhalter joined by the symbolic " key handover " from October 30 the office of the Federal Council officially launched on November 1, 2009. He said the health insurance stand high on his agenda. December 16, 2011 it was announced that Burkhalter changes the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as the successor to Micheline Calmy -Rey on 1 January 2012.

On December 5, 2012 Didier Burkhalter was elected with 205 of 219 valid votes as Vice-President of the Bundesrat. Nearly a year later, on December 4, 2013, the Parliament elected him with 183 votes for President in 2014.

The trained economist is married, lives in Neuchâtel and has three children.