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To the Swiss Abroad: ‘You represent Switzerland and its democratic values’

Simonetta Sommaruga, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, addresses the Swiss Abroad with the banks of the River Aare in Bern as a backdrop.

In her August 1 speech to the 10% of Swiss who live outside Switzerland, Sommaruga compares the atmosphere at the busy beach and campground at Eichholz to Swiss democracy. “At first, you could imagine all sorts of arguments here. Well, no – the people who meet in Eichholz get along well, because they know that people have different interests and that it’s important to talk to each other when there’s a problem.”

“In each of your host countries, you represent Switzerland and its democratic values,” she adds. “These values cannot be taken for granted; you have to fight to defend them again and again. Each of your encounters reminds us that peaceful coexistence is possible in a context of freedom, participation and responsibility.”