Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA)
Four out of the five UK CSA (Council of the Swiss Abroad) attended the 2019 Congress in Montroux.
97th Congress of the Swiss Abroad, from 16 to 18 August 2019 in Montreux
The 97th Congress of the Swiss Abroad provided an opportunity to reflect on social, political and economic realities, as well as unemployment, current migratory situations and even the mobility of the future.
What major challenges will society be facing and how can they be tackled? How can the elements for solving and responding to these issues be implemented from today? Leading figures from the world of economics, science and Swiss politics will attempt to tackle and provide answers to these questions.
Since this is election year, this congress welcomed the political parties represented in the Federal Parliament. Leading politicians came to Montreux to address participants and discussed issues of interest to the Swiss Abroad.
Find out more about the work and value of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad on the official website >
The Congress 2019 Programme Outline:
Friday 16 August 2019, 9:00–17:30
Meeting of the Council of the Swiss Abroad
Saturday 17 August 2019
Congress of the Swiss Abroad
Political programme: Federal elections 2019
The Swiss Abroad and Political Parties: status report and mutual expectations
Cultural programme: Guided tour of Château de Chillon for participants not wishing to participate in the political programme
Conference: What will tomorrow’s world hold?
Closing event at the Grand Hôtel Suisse Majestic
Sunday 18August 2019, 9:15–15:30
Chaplin’s World visit – Meal in the Lavaux vineyards
UK Delegates in action - voting at an OSA Congress.
CSA meeting of 23 March 2019 in retrospect
On 23 March 2019, the delegates of the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) met for their six-monthly meeting at the City Hall in Bern. This short video summarises the main items on the agenda of the meeting.
Watch the video in German: https://youtu.be/lzfkUooMFcs
Watch the video in French: https://youtu.be/M2DTOGZ578k
Watch the complete live stream recording:
Have your say
Discuss issues to raise and representation with one of our UK Delegates to the Council of the Swiss Abroad.
96th Congress of the Swiss Abroad
The Organisation of Swiss Abroad (OSA) held its 96th congress from the 18th to 20th August in Visp, surrounded by a beautiful mountain panorama. The UK was represented by our elected Delegates, Franz Muheim (also member of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad committee), Nathalie Chuard, Loredana Guetg-Wyatt and Vincent Croset. The videos remain available to watch on OSA's our YouTube channel.
97 delegates from all over the world assembled in Visp for the constituent meeting, chaired by the OSA president, Remo Gysin. The main topic on the political agenda was Evoting, followed by an update on the discriminatory banking practices impacting the Swiss abroad.
Lobbying for the nationwide implementation of Evoting is one of the top priorities of OSA. Currently over 750,000 Swiss live abroad, but only 170,000 have registered to take part in the votes and elections in Switzerland. At the moment, only 9 cantons (BS, GE, LU, BE, NE, FR, AG, SG and TG) allow the electronic vote. We are currently experiencing some head winds in the parliament. Critics are concerned about security and a number of parliamentary initiatives have been submitted that might block the progress on Evoting. The delegates of the Council of the Swiss abroad approved in this meeting the launch of an online petition calling for the introduction of Evoting within three years.
Regarding the topic of Bank accounts for the Swiss Abroad, it has become apparent that there are no easy solutions as all parliamentary moves have failed. As communicated at the AGM in Belfast, it is possible for Expats to open Bank accounts at affordable cost at the Geneva Cantonal Bank. If you have taken advantage of this, please send us any (positive or negative) feedback in order to report back to the OSA.
Some interesting developments initiated from our UK delegates:
- The proposal of Franz Muheim’s working group to integrate virtual groups (eg Facebook groups) into OSA has been approved. This is a great achievement and another step forward in modernizing the OSA by reaching more (and probably also younger) Swiss Abroad through Social Media.
- Vincent Croset presented his proposal for a permanent representation of Swiss Abroad in the National Council (such as many other countries already do). There has been a lively debate around this interesting idea and the Council agreed to create an official working group. The working group is expected to present at the next council meeting a proper due diligence and feasibility assessment.
Switzerland’s relations with the European Union have been at the centre of the Congress on Saturday. The keynote speeches of Roberto Balzaretti (Head of the Directorate for European Affairs in the Swiss ministry, picture) and Michael Matthiessen (the EU Ambassador to Switzerland) gave some indications of the delicate situation for both sides about the future of the bilateral accords. Please find the recording of their talks here: https://bit.ly/2MPcSdB. The negotiations are still ongoing and we eagerly await their outcome.
Brexit was mentioned on numerous occasions and it was noted that Berne is closely following what’s happening here in the UK. For further information about the so called “Mind the Gap” strategy, please visit the website of the Embassy: https://bit.ly/2MPcSdB
2018 UK Delegates' Reports
What is OSA?
The Organisation for the Swiss Abroad (OSA), is an independent organisation which is recognised as the advocate of the interests of the Fifth Switzerland.
Organised by the OSA, the Congress of the Swiss Abroad is the annual meeting of the Swiss citizen living all around the world. During this meeting, they have the opportunity to renew with the Swiss current information, to discuss on special themes and to exchange in a friendly atmosphere their own experiences. The Congress is held in German and French.
This Congress takes place each year in August, in a different area of Switzerland, and some 500 compatriots from the whole world come each year to this event. Visits, entertainment and meeting with the authorities and local population are also part of the programme.
Editorial Office "Swiss Review"
Association for the Promotion of Education for Young Swiss Abroad (AJAS)
educationsuisse (formerly: Committee for Swiss Schools Abroad)
Foundation for Young Swiss Abroad (FYSA)
More information is available on the OSA website: www.aso.ch
The OSA Management Team
OSA is organised and run by a highly motivated and skilled team permanent administrative team, the Secretariat for the Swiss Abroad (SSA). Below are the individuals we have previously had the pleasure to meet at our FOSSUK AGMs. You can see a full list of the team on the official OSA website: http://aso.ch/en/about-ourselves/the-osa/officeteam