Switzerland has a publicly managed road network without road tolls that is financed by highway permits as well as vehicle and gasoline taxes. Thus on 28 November 1848, the Federal Assembly voted in majority to locate the seat of government in Berne. Strict immigration and asylum policies as well as the financial relationships with Nazi Germany raised controversy, but not until the end of the 20th century.[50]. There are 12 universities in Switzerland, ten of which are maintained at cantonal level and usually offer a range of non-technical subjects. Once I left the airport in Zurich, I had braced myself for dealing with bad public transportation. [59] At 4,634 m (15,203 ft), Monte Rosa is the highest, although the Matterhorn (4,478 m or 14,692 ft) is often regarded as the most famous. In almost all Swiss municipalities, stickers or dedicated garbage bags need to be purchased that allow for identification of disposable garbage. [242] The Swiss News Agency (SNA) broadcasts information around-the-clock in three of the four national languages—on politics, economics, society and culture. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy,[15] and Alpine symbolism. Switzerland played an exceptional role during the Reformation as it became home to many reformers. Traditionally, the first foreign language in school was always one of the other national languages, although in 2000 English was introduced first in a few cantons.[137]. Sweden is a Scandinavian and Nordic country, lying next to Norway and Finland. [61], Switzerland lies between latitudes 45° and 48° N, and longitudes 5° and 11° E. It contains three basic topographical areas: the Swiss Alps to the south, the Swiss Plateau or Central Plateau, and the Jura mountains on the west. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.[31]. Old Norse svíða ‘to singe, burn’), referring to the area of forest that was burned and cleared to build. [163], On 27 November 2008, the interior and justice ministers of European Union in Brussels announced Switzerland's accession to the Schengen passport-free zone from 12 December 2008. They include the world-famous physicist Albert Einstein[150] in the field of physics, who developed his special relativity while working in Bern. Furthermore, many sport federations and organisations are located throughout the country, such as the International Handball Federation in Basel, the The most frequent characteristics of Helvetisms are in vocabulary, phrases, and pronunciation, but certain Helvetisms denote themselves as special in syntax and orthography likewise. [231] Also a breakthrough was the invention of solid milk chocolate in 1875 by Daniel Peter. Other areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism such as sight-seeing, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors. [32] In 15 BC, Tiberius, who would one day become the second Roman emperor, and his brother Drusus, conquered the Alps, integrating them into the Roman Empire. In 1988, the Paul Scherrer Institute was founded in his name to explore the therapeutic uses of neutron scattering technologies. It also established federal responsibility for defence, trade, and legal matters. Switzerland is ranked as having one of the most powerful economies in the world. This ended the so-called "heroic" epoch of Swiss history. [249] In 2009, Switzerland hosted the IIHF World Championship for the 10th time. [222], Switzerland has no official state religion, though most of the cantons (except Geneva and Neuchâtel) recognise official churches, which are either the Roman Catholic Church or the Swiss Reformed Church. Though 61% of the population made less than the average income, income inequality is relatively low with a Gini coefficient of 29.7, placing Switzerland among the top 20 countries for income equality. The state has more than fifteen hundred lakes within its borders and six percent of the total fresh water in the European continent. The most widespread varieties are the Chasselas (called Fendant in Valais) and Pinot noir. Summers tend to be warm and humid at times with periodic rainfall so they are ideal for pastures and grazing. The Alps cover approximately sixty percent of the entire Swiss geographical area. Men usually receive military conscription orders for training at the age of 18. However, Switzerland has a Federal Constitution which was put in place in the year 1848 which guides all the federal states. Its main hub is Zürich, but it is legally domiciled in Basel. Housing and food price levels were 171% and 145% of the EU-25 index in 2007, compared to 113% and 104% in Germany. [158] EU membership was a long-term objective of the Swiss government, but there was and remains considerable popular sentiment against membership, which is opposed by the conservative SVP party, the largest party in the National Council, and not currently supported or proposed by several other political parties. That is a majority of 23 cantonal votes, because the result of the popular vote in the six traditional, In 2008, the ETH Zürich was ranked 15th in the field. Below are the facts that makes the Switzerland Great. The official name of Switzerland is Confoederatio Helvetica. 750-1050)-language text, Articles with disputed statements from November 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2016, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Officially the Republic of China, participates as ", This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 21:37. As a result, Switzerland is running a biocapacity deficit.[70]. This is Latin and is not often used except for state documents. [111] In terms of GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power, Switzerland was ranked 5th in the world in 2018 by World Bank[112] and estimated at 9th by the IMF in 2020,[113] as well as 11th by the CIA World Factbook in 2017. The large majority of firearms kept at home are issued by the Swiss army, but ammunition is no longer issued.[98][99]. Thus as of today, no city in Switzerland has the official status either of capital or of Federal City, nevertheless Berne is commonly referred to as "Federal City" (German: Bundesstadt, French: ville fédérale, Italian: città federale). The number of fine-dining establishments is high, particularly in western Switzerland. Until 1500 the legates met most of the time in Lucerne, but also in Zürich, Baden, Bern, Schwyz etc., but sometimes also at places outside of the confederation, such as Constance. [121] In 2018, the canton of Basel-City had the highest GDP per capita in the country, ahead of the cantons of Zug and Geneva. Switzerland obtained its first independence from the Holy Roman Empire in the year 1648 where the peace of Westphalia established its independence. Between 1940 and 1945, Switzerland was bombed by the Allies causing fatalities and property damage. Even though Switzerland is one of the most recent countries to have joined the United Nations, the Palace of Nations in Geneva is the second biggest centre for the United Nations after New York, and Switzerland was a founding member and home to the League of Nations. [59] In the largest Canton of Graubünden, lying entirely in the Alps, population density falls to 27 /km2 (70 /sq mi). Modern-day Switzerland was therefore then divided between the kingdoms of Alemannia and Burgundy. Lake Constance is the second largest Swiss lake and, like the Lake Geneva, an intermediate step by the Rhine at the border to Austria and Germany. The Swiss cantons can be described as federated states which have their courts, constitution, parliament, and police. [81] Swiss neutrality has been questioned at times.[82][83][84][85][86]. Some technologies enabled the exploration of new worlds such as the pressurised balloon of Auguste Piccard and the Bathyscaphe which permitted Jacques Piccard to reach the deepest point of the world's oceans. Swiss motorcycle racer Thomas Lüthi won the 2005 MotoGP World Championship in the 125cc category. Besides the second largest standard gauge railway company BLS AG two railways companies operating on narrow gauge networks are the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) in the southeastern canton of Graubünden, which includes some World Heritage lines,[176] and the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGB), which co-operates together with RhB the Glacier Express between Zermatt and St. Moritz/Davos. Is Switzerland a racist country for Black people? Over 100 Allied bombers and their crews were interned during the war. Swiss people from all strata of society, whether Catholic or Protestant, from the liberal or conservative current, realised that the cantons would profit more if their economic and religious interests were merged. The agency is supporting the 2000-watt society initiative to cut the nation's energy use by more than half by the year 2050.[174]. [161] They continue to discuss further areas for cooperation. Switzerland is a landlocked mountainous country in South Central Europe, bordered by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Liechtenstein. Its policy of neutrality was internationally recognised at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Switzerland's attitude towards refugees was complicated and controversial; over the course of the war it admitted as many as 300,000 refugees[49] while refusing tens of thousands more,[52] including Jews who were severely persecuted by the Nazis. To minimise the negative consequences of Switzerland's isolation from the rest of Europe, Bern and Brussels signed seven bilateral agreements to further liberalise trade ties. Switzerland is a country. ", Financial Time Executive Education Rankings – Open Programs – 2015, "Chart C3.1. [69], However, access to biocapacity in Switzerland is far lower than world average. I am considering relocating as a teacher and was told Switzerland has a high payscale. [205] The French spoken in Switzerland has similar terms, which are equally known as Helvetisms. [68] The country pledged to cut GHG emissions by 50% by the year 2030 compared to the level of 1990 and works on a plan to reach zero emissions by 2050. Steadily harassed by the Germanic tribes, in 58 BC the Helvetii decided to abandon the Swiss plateau and migrate to western Gallia, but Julius Caesar's armies pursued and defeated them at the Battle of Bibracte, in today's eastern France, forcing the tribe to move back to its original homeland. [29] The long [iː] of Swiss German is historically and still often today spelled ⟨y⟩ rather than ⟨ii⟩, preserving the original identity of the two names even in writing. Switzerland is the world’s only country where there are four national languages. In 2016, the languages most spoken at home among permanent residents aged 15 and older were Swiss German (59.4%), French (23.5%), Standard German (10.6%), and Italian (8.5%). [241] Italian and Romansh-speaking authors also contributed to the Swiss literary landscape, but generally in more modest ways given their small number. Both are located within the Pennine Alps in the canton of Valais, on the border with Italy. Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. [48] Among the cities and towns bombed were Basel, Brusio, Chiasso, Cornol, Geneva, Koblenz, Niederweningen, Rafz, Renens, Samedan, Schaffhausen, Stein am Rhein, Tägerwilen, Thayngen, Vals, and Zürich. [34][35], Throughout the rest of the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries the Swiss regions continued under Frankish hegemony (Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties). The Swiss are the world's largest consumers of chocolate.[259][260]. Repeated raids by the Alamanni tribes provoked the ruin of the Roman towns and economy, forcing the population to find shelter near Roman fortresses, like the Castrum Rauracense near Augusta Raurica. Concerning politics, Switzerland has held a neutral position this has helped it in reducing the number of countries it fights. The largest, Lake Geneva, is the home of the sailing team Alinghi which was the first European team to win the America's Cup in 2003 and which successfully defended the title in 2007. In 2002 a tripartite committee has been asked by the Swiss Federal Council to prepare the "creation of a federal law on the status of Bern as a Federal City", and to evaluate the positive and negative aspects for the city and the canton of Bern if this status were awarded. SRG SSR studios are distributed throughout the various language regions. Some 1000 museums are distributed through the country; the number has more than tripled since 1950. A small, Alpine country that lacks raw materials, Switzerland has had no choice but to continually reinvent itself over the centuries, developing alternative sources of income, such as agriculture, tourism and its service sector. Concessions reached a peak after a crucial rail link through Vichy France was severed in 1942, leaving Switzerland (together with Liechtenstein) entirely isolated from the wider world by Axis controlled territory. From 1526, the Catholic conferences were held mostly in Lucerne, the Protestant conferences from 1528 mostly in Aarau, the one for the legitimation of the French Ambassador in Solothurn. [note 10][142][143], In addition, there are various Universities of Applied Sciences. The driest conditions persist in all inner alpine valleys that receive less rain because arriving clouds lose a lot of their content while crossing the mountains before reaching these areas. [32], By 1200, the Swiss plateau comprised the dominions of the houses of Savoy, Zähringer, Habsburg, and Kyburg. The western French-speaking areas and the urban regions of the rest of the country tend to be more pro-EU, nonetheless with far from a significant share of the population. A weather phenomenon known as the föhn (with an identical effect to the chinook wind) can occur at all times of the year and is characterised by an unexpectedly warm wind, bringing air of very low relative humidity to the north of the Alps during rainfall periods on the southern face of the Alps. Many Swiss also follow ice hockey and support one of the 12 teams of the National League, which is the most attended league in Europe. They were later joined by the fleeing Peter Martyr Vermigli and Hans Denck. The classic distribution of 2 CVP/PDC, 2 SPS/PSS, 2 FDP/PRD and 1 SVP/UDC as it stood from 1959 to 2003 was known as the "magic formula". This urban sprawl does not only affect the plateau but also the Jura and the Alpine foothills[219] and there are growing concerns about land use. The Alps are a high mountain range running across the central-south of the country, constituting about 60% of the country's total area. [16][17] Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz [ˈʃvaɪts] (German);[note 5] Suisse [sɥis(ə)] (French); Svizzera [ˈzvittsera] (Italian); and Svizra [ˈʒviːtsrɐ, ˈʒviːtsʁɐ] (Romansh). The fierce French suppression of the Nidwalden Revolt in September 1798 was an example of the oppressive presence of the French Army and the local population's resistance to the occupation. Many other headquarters of international sports federations are located in Switzerland. [3], 26.3% of Swiss permanent residents are not affiliated with any religious community (Atheism, Agnosticism, and others). [207], Swiss residents are universally required to buy health insurance from private insurance companies, which in turn are required to accept every applicant. [165] Some news commentators claim that this proposal de facto contradicts the bilateral agreements on the free movement of persons from these respective countries. [242], Switzerland has historically boasted the greatest number of newspaper titles published in proportion to its population and size. Any 8 cantons together can also call a constitutional referendum on a federal law. But after its extension under Charlemagne, the Frankish Empire was divided by the Treaty of Verdun in 843. [182] The 2014 Global Green Economy Index ranked Switzerland among the top 10 green economies in the world. Hornussen is another indigenous Swiss sport, which is like a cross between baseball and golf. Switzerland’s administrative capital is Bern, while Lausanne serves as its judicial centre. The treaty also allowed Switzerland to increase its territory, with the admission of the cantons of Valais, Neuchâtel and Geneva. The most prominently watched sports in Switzerland are football, ice hockey, Alpine skiing, "Schwingen", and tennis.[246]. [78] However, there are considerable differences between the individual cantons, most particularly in terms of population and geographical area. Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and historically has served as an intermediary between other states. [106][107][108] It has the world's twentieth largest economy by nominal GDP and the thirty-eighth largest by purchasing power parity. [187], In 2018, Switzerland's population slightly exceeded 8.5 million. Apart from the United Nations headquarters, the Swiss Confederation is host to many UN agencies, like the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and about 200 other international organisations, including the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Switzerland is notable for the variety of grapes grown because of the large variations in terroirs, with their specific mixes of soil, air, altitude and light. The 1848 and 1999 Swiss Constitutions define a system of direct democracy (sometimes called half-direct or representative direct democracy because it is aided by the more commonplace institutions of a representative democracy). The mountainous regions themselves are also vulnerable, with a rich range of plants not found at other altitudes, and experience some pressure from visitors and grazing. [188] Switzerland subsequently has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 42.5 years. [166][167], In December 2016, a political compromise with the European Union was attained effectively canceling quotas on EU citizens but still allowing for favourable treatment of Swiss-based job applicants. However, the president is a primus inter pares with no additional powers, and remains the head of a department within the administration.[71]. Motorsport racecourses and events were banned in Switzerland following the 1955 Le Mans disaster with exception to events such as Hillclimbing. The Swiss Parliament consists of two houses: the Council of States which has 46 representatives (two from each canton and one from each half-canton) who are elected under a system determined by each canton, and the National Council, which consists of 200 members who are elected under a system of proportional representation, depending on the population of each canton. [175] In 2015, each Swiss resident travelled on average 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) by rail, which makes them the keenest rail users. It had been imposed by a foreign invading army and destroyed centuries of tradition, making Switzerland nothing more than a French satellite state. More recent authors include Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (1878–1947), whose novels describe the lives of peasants and mountain dwellers, set in a harsh environment and Blaise Cendrars (born Frédéric Sauser, 1887–1961). Februar 2014: Initiative "Gegen Masseneinwanderung, EU and Switzerland agree on free movement, Switzerland referendum: Voters reject end to free movement with EU, "Vorlage Nr. [30] (for example, the ISO banking code "CHF" for the Swiss franc, and the country top-level domain ".ch", are both taken from the state's Latin name). With its world-class companies, Novartis and Roche, and many other players, it is also one of the world's most important centres for the life sciences industry. A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominates in many areas and small farms are omnipresent outside the towns. Dezember 2003 (Stand am 1. [59], The more populous northern part of the country, constituting about 30% of the country's total area, is called the Swiss Plateau. [243] The most influential newspapers are the German-language Tages-Anzeiger and Neue Zürcher Zeitung NZZ, and the French-language Le Temps, but almost every city has at least one local newspaper. Until 1848 the rather loosely coupled Confederation did not know a central political organisation, but representatives, mayors, and Landammänner met several times a year at the capital of the Lieu presiding the Confederal Diet for one year. 4 National languages", "Die am häufigsten üblicherweise zu Hause gesprochenen Sprachen der ständigen Wohnbevölkerung ab 15 Jahren – 2012–2014, 2013–2015, 2014–2016", "Personen nach Anzahl Sprachen, die sie regelmässig verwenden – 2014", "Patients are very satisfied with "Hospital Switzerland, "Zufriedenheit durch Vertrauen: Kurzbericht zur grossen Ärztestudie", "Kundenzufriedenheit: Krankenkassen sollten Effizienz und Image verbessern", "Components of population change – Data, indicators: Deaths, mortality and life expectancy", "The Human Capital Report, Insight Report", "OECD.StatExtracts, Health, Health Status, Life expectancy, Total population at birth, 2011", "Statistical Data on Health and Accident Insurance", OECD and WHO survey of Switzerland's health system, https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/region-lemanique-affiche-plus-haut-taux-depression, Städte und Agglomerationen unter der Lupe, Swiss countryside succumbs to urban sprawl, Enquête représentative sur l'urbanisation de la Suisse (Pronatura), "Quality of Living City Ranking | Mercer", "Ständige und nichtständige Wohnbevölkerung nach institutionellen Gliederungen, Geburtsort und Staatsangehörigkeit", "Wohnbevölkerung nach Religionszugehörigkeit 1910–2013", "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung ab 15 Jahren nach Religions- / Konfessionszugehörigkeit, 2012", "The world's most amazing football pitches – in pictures", "IIHF World Championships 2009 official website", Michelin Guide Switzerland 2010 attests to the high quality of gourmet cooking with one new 2 star restaurant and 8 new one star, Swiss region serves up food with star power, Table 38. Swiss culture is characterised by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs. [24] The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, also in use since the 16th century. The state is bordered by Germany to the north, Italy to the south, France to the west, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is associated with the Union through a series of bilateral treaties in which Switzerland has adopted various provisions of European Union law in order to participate in the Union's single market, without joining as a member state.. Quartal 2019", "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2019", "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey", "US is still by far the richest country, China fastest growing", "Franc's rise puts Swiss top of rich list", "Zürich mit der zweithöchsten Lebensqualität weltweit", Kanton Schwyz: Kurzer historischer Überblick, Marco Marcacci, Confederatio helvetica (2002), Switzerland's Roman heritage comes to life, "Iron Age Celtic Woman Wearing Fancy Clothes Buried in This 'Tree Coffin' in Switzerland", "This Iron Age Celtic Woman Was Buried in a Hollowed-Out Tree Trunk", "Kelte trifft Keltin: Ergebnisse zu einem aussergewöhnlichen Grabfund - Stadt Zürich", "Iron Age Celtic Woman Found Buried In A Hollowed-Out Tree Trunk In Zurich", "Iron Age Celtic Woman Buried in 'Tree Trunk Coffin' Discovered in Switzerland". The first university in Switzerland was founded in 1460 in Basel (with a faculty of medicine) and has a tradition of chemical and medical research in Switzerland. Zürich, Geneva and Basel have been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with Zürich ranked second globally. In addition the country attracted a number of creative persons during time of unrest or war in Europe. [42] In 1501, Basel and Schaffhausen joined the Old Swiss Confederacy. [168], On 27 September 2020, Swiss voters clearly rejected the anti-free movement popular initiative by the conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP) with nearly 62% "no" votes, reflecting democratic support for bilateral agreements with the European Union. The application for membership of the EU was formally withdrawn in 2016, having long been frozen. German Helvetisms are, roughly speaking, a large group of words typical of Swiss Standard German, which do not appear either in Standard German, nor in other German dialects. However, the free movement of persons was voted down in a referendum… The unemployment rate increased from a low of 1.7% in June 2000 to a peak of 4.4% in December 2009. (I’m used to the nightmare that is the New York subway system.) Switzerland (German: Schweiz; French: Suisse; Italian: Svizzera; Romansh: Svizra; Swiss German: Schwiz) is a comparatively small country in Western Europe. The Empire built another line of defence at the north border (the so-called Donau-Iller-Rhine-Limes), but at the end of the fourth century the increased Germanic pressure forced the Romans to abandon the linear defence concept, and the Swiss plateau was finally open to the settlement of Germanic tribes. [42] Henceforth, much of Swiss politics would concern balancing the cantons' tradition of self-rule with the need for a central government. Switzerland has been a WTO member since 1 July 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 August 1966. The largest Swiss companies by revenue are Glencore, Gunvor, Nestlé, Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche, ABB, Mercuria Energy Group and Adecco. Notable inventions include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), diazepam (Valium), the scanning tunnelling microscope (Nobel prize) and Velcro. [123], Switzerland is home to several large multinational corporations. This first series of bilateral agreements included the free movement of persons. From 2014 to 2018 the EU and Switzerland worked out a proposal which would involve free movement of persons, air transport, carriage of goods and passengers by rails and road, trade in agricultural products and mutual recognition of standards. [118][119], For much of the 20th century, Switzerland was the wealthiest country in Europe by a considerable margin (by GDP – per capita). Switzerland is not a member state of the European Union (EU). | NZZ", 2012 Index of Economic Freedom: Switzerland, "GDP per capita, PPP (current international $) | Data", "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects", "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency", "Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017", The Innovation Union's performance scoreboard for Research and Innovation 2010, "European Innovation Scoreboard – European Commission", "Policy Brief: Economic Survey of Switzerland, 2007", Economic Policy Reforms: Going for Growth 2008 – Switzerland Country Note, "Fact check: Are most Swiss residents rich? Switzerland has four national languages: mainly German (spoken by 62.8% of the population in 2016); French (22.9%) in the west; and Italian (8.2%) in the south. Swiss International Air Lines is the flag carrier of Switzerland. [100], After the Helvetic Republic and during the Mediation from 1803 until 1815 the Confederal Diet of the 19 Lieus met at the capitals of the directoral cantons Fribourg, Berne, Basel, Zurich, Lucerne and Solothurn. [67] In 2020 it was ranked third out of 180 countries. [216], Between two thirds and three quarters of the population live in urban areas. More recently Vladimir Prelog, Heinrich Rohrer, Richard Ernst, Edmond Fischer, Rolf Zinkernagel, Kurt Wüthrich and Jacques Dubochet received Nobel Prizes in the sciences. [148][149], Many Nobel Prize laureates have been Swiss scientists. The Swiss autobahn/autoroute network has a total length of 1,638 km (1,018 mi) (as of 2000) and has, by an area of 41,290 km2 (15,940 sq mi), also one of the highest motorway densities in the world. [89] Women can serve voluntarily. At the end of primary school (or at the beginning of secondary school), pupils are separated according to their capacities in several (often three) sections. Referendums were made mandatory for any amendment of this constitution. In 1803 Napoleon organised a meeting of the leading Swiss politicians from both sides in Paris. The larger cities and their cantons (Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Zürich and Basel) used to be predominantly Protestant. The river is the Rhine river, river Rhone, River Inn, and river Ticino. [32] Some regions (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, later known as Waldstätten) were accorded the Imperial immediacy to grant the empire direct control over the mountain passes. Percentage of foreign students in tertiary education (1998, 2003) in Education at a Glance, OECD indicators 2005 – Executive Summary", "Graduate Institute of International Studies Geneva Overview | Study Abroad Programs", "e-Perspectives, Kendra Magraw ('10) Accepted at Geneva's Prestigious IHEID – U of MN Law School", "Swiss Nobel Prize Winners / Nobel Prize Winners in Switzerland", "Mueller Science – Spezialitaeten: Schweizer Nobelpreisträger", "CERN - the largest laboratory in the world www.swissworld.org", "The contexts of Swiss opposition to Europe", "Volksinitiative "Ja zu Europa! It’s squeezed in between France to the west, Italy to the south, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east and Germany to the north. [57] However, the voters rejected the attempts of taking back control of immigration, defeating the motion by a roughly 63%–37% margin. The nation has not engaged in any international war with any country in the world since the year 1815 to date. Multilingualism is one characteristic that distinguishes Switzerland from other countries. On 5 June 2005, Swiss voters agreed by a 55% majority to join the Schengen treaty, a result that was regarded by EU commentators as a sign of support by Switzerland, a country that is traditionally perceived as independent and reluctant to enter supranational bodies. Switzerland voted against membership in the European Economic Area in a referendum in December 1992 and has since maintained and developed its relationships with the European Union (EU) and European countries through bilateral agreements. [34], A female who died in about 200 BC was found buried in a carved tree trunk during a construction project at the Kern school complex in March 2017 in Aussersihl. The council was … Duden, the comprehensive German dictionary, contains about 3000 Helvetisms. There are large lakes found here and the biggest Swiss cities are in this area of the country.[59]. [14] Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world's oldest and best known humanitarian organisations, and is home to numerous international organisations, including the United Nations Office at Geneva, which is its second-largest in the world. [200] In 2014 almost two-thirds (64.4%) of the permanent resident population indicated speaking more than one language regularly. [244] Winter sports are practised by the natives and tourists since the second half of the 19th century with the invention of bobsleigh in St. [35] In 1979 areas from the canton of Bern attained independence from the Bernese, forming the new canton of Jura. One of the most important tribal groups in the Swiss region was the Helvetii. [257][258], Chocolate has been made in Switzerland since the 18th century but it gained its reputation at the end of the 19th century with the invention of modern techniques such as conching and tempering which enabled its production on a high quality level. Overall, three general mobilisations have been declared to ensure the integrity and neutrality of Switzerland. The climatic, geological and topographical conditions of the alpine region make for a very fragile ecosystem that is particularly sensitive to climate change. So to make matters more … After a period of unrest with repeated violent clashes, such as the Züriputsch of 1839, civil war (the Sonderbundskrieg) broke out in 1847 when some Catholic cantons tried to set up a separate alliance (the Sonderbund). Vineyards have been cultivated in Switzerland since the Roman era, even though certain traces can be found of a more ancient origin. Switzerland is not an EU Member State, but it is linked to EU via bilateral treaties. The Rhône is both the main source and outflow of Lake Geneva. Photograph by Cosmo Candina, Getty [177] Zurich Airport is Switzerland's largest international flight gateway, which handled 22.8 million passengers in 2012. Swiss wine is produced mainly in Valais, Vaud (Lavaux), Geneva and Ticino, with a small majority of white wines. [124] Also, notable are UBS AG, Zurich Financial Services, Credit Suisse, Barry Callebaut, Swiss Re, Tetra Pak, The Swatch Group and Swiss International Air Lines. The President of the Confederation is elected by the Assembly from among the seven members, traditionally in rotation and for a one-year term; the President chairs the government and assumes representative functions. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. For example, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), IOC's Olympic Museum and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) are located in Lausanne. Through referendums, citizens may challenge any law passed by parliament and through initiatives, introduce amendments to the federal constitution, thus making Switzerland a direct democracy. Look in map. [137] There are both public and private schools, including many private international schools. In the year 1798, Switzerland was conquered by the French government of that time and abolished the cantons systems. A look at the latest numbers", "What people in Switzerland are addicted to", "Zurich is Europe's weekend cocaine capital", "Youth crime: more drug use, less dealing", "CC 101 Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999, Art. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century (1291), forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries. [34][35], During the Early Modern period of Swiss history, the growing authoritarianism of the patriciate families combined with a financial crisis in the wake of the Thirty Years' War led to the Swiss peasant war of 1653. Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). [215], It is estimated that one out of six persons in Switzerland suffers from mental illness. [181] The country is heavily active in recycling and anti-littering regulations and is one of the top recyclers in the world, with 66% to 96% of recyclable materials being recycled, depending on the area of the country. It is the seventeenth largest exporter. The Swiss Super League is the nation's professional football club league. Switzerland has been named the world's happiest country in a survey of 158 nations - with the UK trailing behind in 21st (Iceland, Denmark, Norway and … Schooling is excellent here for children. [110] The nominal per capita GDP is higher than those of the larger Western and Central European economies and Japan. [250] It also became World Vice-Champion in 2013 and 2018. What Type Of Government Does Switzerland Have. [109], Switzerland has the highest European rating in the Index of Economic Freedom 2010, while also providing large coverage through public services. In the Early Middle Ages, from the end of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians. The country signed a similar agreement with the European Union, effectively ending privacy for EU Swiss bank account holders. [193] The proportion of the population that has reported being targeted by racial discrimination has increased in recent years, from 10% in 2014 to almost 17% in 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office. It has four official languages; German, French, Italian, and Romansh. [91] Annually, approximately 20,000 persons are trained in recruit centres for a duration from 18 to 21 weeks. Among the high valleys of the Swiss Alps many glaciers are found, totalling an area of 1,063 square kilometres (410 sq mi). The 1999 new constitution, however, does not contain anything concerning any Federal City. [74], Direct democracy and federalism are hallmarks of the Swiss political system. (Initiative "Yes to Europe!" [227] Some traditionally Protestant cantons and cities nowadays have a slight Catholic majority, not because they were growing in members, quite the contrary, but only because since about 1970 a steadily growing minority became not affiliated with any church or other religious body (21.4% in Switzerland, 2012) especially in traditionally Protestant regions, such as Basel-City (42%), canton of Neuchâtel (38%), canton of Geneva (35%), canton of Vaud (26%), or Zürich city (city: >25%; canton: 23%).[228]. Yet however minor the Sonderbundskrieg appears compared with other European riots and wars in the 19th century, it nevertheless had a major impact on both the psychology and the society of the Swiss and of Switzerland. In comparison to other federal states, the Swiss cantons are less restricted in the manner in which it is governed. [79][80] Only in 2002 did Switzerland become a full member of the United Nations[79] and it was the first state to join it by referendum. Nature Switzerland has a very varied landscape and great habitat diversity. Geneva and the nearby French department of Ain co-host the world's largest laboratory, CERN,[154] dedicated to particle physics research. There are three main governing bodies on the federal level:[72] the bicameral parliament (legislative), the Federal Council (executive) and the Federal Court (judicial). At first, this might just seem like the Swiss have grea… 7 Taschenmunition Ziff 1", "Soldiers can keep guns at home but not ammo", https://www.nzz.ch/wirtschaft/starke-abhaengigkeit-von-einer-branche-was-waere-die-schweiz-ohne-die-pharma-ld.144096, "Fewer Swiss shares: Foreign investors own 60% of Swiss corporations", Credit Suisse: Global wealth has soared 14% since 2010 to USD 231 trillion with the strongest growth in emerging markets, Table 2: Top 10 countries with the highest average wealth per adult in 2011, "Global Wealth Reaches New All-Time High", "Was wäre die Schweiz ohne die Pharma? During World War I, Switzerland was home to Vladimir Illych Ulyanov (Vladimir Lenin) and he remained there until 1917. [59][60] The more mountainous southern half of the country is far more sparsely populated than the northern half. Four fifths of persons with an immigration background were themselves immigrants (first generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizens), whereas one fifth were born in Switzerland (second generation foreigners and native-born and naturalised Swiss citizens). Top wine consuming nations per capita, 2006, The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation, Sovereign states and dependencies of Europe, autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark, Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Switzerland&oldid=990507012, French-speaking countries and territories, German-speaking countries and territories, Italian-speaking countries and territories, Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Member states of the European Free Trade Association, Articles containing Italian-language text, Articles with dead external links from July 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from June 2016, Articles with dead external links from July 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles containing Romansh-language text, Pages using collapsible list with both background and text-align in titlestyle, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Articles containing Alemannic German-language text, Articles containing Old High German (ca. [190] Italians were the largest single group of foreigners, with 15.6% of total foreign population, followed closely by Germans (15.2%), immigrants from Portugal (12.7%), France (5.6%), Serbia (5.3%), Turkey (3.8%), Spain (3.7%), and Austria (2%). [123] Exported services amount to a third of exports. The main international airports of Switzerland are also located in these cities. Traditionally, Switzerland avoids alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action and has been neutral since the end of its expansion in 1515. It's famous for its banks, chocolate, CERN, etc. GDP per hour worked is the world's 16th highest, at 49.46 international dollars in 2012.[136]. Agricultural protectionism—a rare exception to Switzerland's free trade policies—has contributed to high food prices. [22] The World Economic Forum ranks it the 5th most competitive country globally.[23]. Among the most successful skiers and world champions are Pirmin Zurbriggen and Didier Cuche. Yes, there is no doubt that Switzerland is one of the great countries. Other languages spoken at home included English (5.0%), Portuguese (3.8%), Albanian (3.0%), Spanish (2.6%) and Serbian and Croatian (2.5%). The oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. [35] This new constitution also brought a legal end to nobility in Switzerland.[44]. The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätte cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. Switzerland is located in Central Europe, south of Germany and next to France and Austria. A 1980 initiative calling for the complete separation of church and state was rejected by 78.9% of the voters. They are two different countries. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna fully re-established Swiss independence and the European powers agreed to permanently recognise Swiss neutrality. 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