Speaking in his capacity as the next chairman-in-office of the OSCE at the closing plenary session of the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, paid homage to the deceased former South African president, Nelson Mandela, as an exemplar of freedom and reconciliation. The representatives of the 57 OSCE member states adopted several decisions and declarations at the close of this year's Ministerial Council in Kiev.
Today, the Federal Council launched the consultation on adoption of the EU regulation on the European external border surveillance system (EUROSUR). The regulation governs the exchange of information between member states and the European border control agency, FRONTEX, and coordinates the operational surveillance of the Schengen external borders. The consultation will end on 21 March 2014.
Local and regional newspapers with an entitlement to discounted transport will benefit from a CHF 0.22 delivery reduction per copy from the Swiss Post for the year 2014. The corresponding reduction for subscription publications and foundations' publications is CHF 0.14. The Federal Council has approved both amounts as part of its indirect support for the press, for which the Confederation has allocated an annual budget of CHF 50 million.
[ Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports DDPS ]
It is with great sadness that the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, heard the news of the death of Nelson Mandela. On behalf of the people of Switzerland and the Federal Council, Mr Maurer conveys his sincere condolences to the people and government of South Africa. The President of the Swiss Confederation extends its deepest sympathies to the family of the former President of South Africa. He shares with the South African people their great pain on this very sad occasion.
(FSO) - The Swiss Consumer Price Index calculated by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) remained unchanged in November 2013 compared with the previous month at 99.1 points (December 2010=100). Compared with the same month in the previous year, the inflation rate was +0.1%, compared with annualised rates of -0.3% in October 2013 and of -0.4% in November 2012.
Presence Switzerland, which is part of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), presented a broad outline of the activities it has planned for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Our winter sports athletes have gotten off to a very good start this season, giving us reason to hope for numerous medals, which will be celebrated in the House of Switzerland Russia 2014 at the heart of the Olympic Park. Proud of its traditions yet focused on innovation, Switzerland will take advantage of this global media event to showcase its economic, political, touristic and scientific strengths to visitors of the Olympic Games. During the games, Switzerland will also kick off the celebrations – in the presence of the president of the Swiss Confederation – to mark 200 years of bilateral relations with Russia.
The contenders for the 2014 Swiss Film Awards will be unveiled at Nominations Night in Solothurn on 29 January. As well as the introduction of a “Best Film Editing” category, the “Best Animated Film” award will now be bestowed annually rather than every two years. The new Director of the Federal Office of Culture, Ms Isabelle Chassot, will officially open the ceremony.
(FSO) - According to provisional results from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Swiss hotel industry registered 2.6 million overnight stays in October 2013, which corresponds to a decrease of 0.5% (-14,000 overnight stays) compared with October 2012. Domestic visitors registered 1.3 million overnight stays, i.e. a decline of 3.3% (-44,000 overnight stays). Foreign visitors recorded 1.4 million overnight stays, representing an increase of 2.2% (+30,000 overnight stays). During the summer tourist season (May to October), 20 million overnight stays were recorded, corresponding to an increase of 3.3% (+642,000 overnight stays) compared with the summer season 2012.
According to provisional results from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), production in the construction sector rose by 0.5% in third quarter 2013 compared with the previous year, turnover increased by 1%.
From 6 to 15 December, 26 Colombian girls and boys have been invited by Switzerland to get an introduction to well-loved sports in Switzerland, such as football, ice hockey and basketball. The aim of the visit is to show young people from conflict-ridden regions alternative prospects to a life of crime and violence. The visit is organised by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in cooperation with Colombia's foreign ministry, the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO) and sport clubs FC Basel 1893, SC Bern, Lions de Genève, Basket Club Latino Carouge and Floorball Köniz. Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter will meet the young people on 12 December.