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"My goal is to bring people closer together"

Interview with Dominique de Buman

President of the National Council, Dominique de Buman sees his role as that of a bridge builder, both in Switzerland and abroad.


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President of the National Council, Dominique de Buman

President of the National Council, Dominique de Buman

What are your expectations for Switzerland in 2018 regarding ...

… economic policy?
All political parties should demonstrate an ability to make crucial progress in bringing about meaningful reform of our corporate tax system. This would make investors more confident in our country, which would, in turn, enable Switzerland’s growth to accelerate more in line with that of its European counterparts.

... social policy?
Similar efforts at convergence are also required with pension reform if we are to prevent a future financial hole from becoming an incurable social ill.

... foreign policy?
The Federal Council will endeavor to strengthen ties with the European Union and to negotiate new bilateral agreements on electricity and access to the banking market.

With Corporate Tax Reform III and Pension Reform 2020, two of the three major reform projects of the current legislature failed last year. How can Swiss politicians get back to passing significant reform in future?

Politicians will have to re-learn how to compromise in the "Swiss way," thus restoring confidence in the system among the general public. This is the only way to break the deadlock, because it is unrealistic to believe that key dossiers, which by definition are complex documents, will be made simpler and therefore understandable.

Where do you see a particular need for action in politics, but maybe in society too?

It would be nice to see more companies holding political office once again, especially at municipality level. This would lead to both better management of public authorities and a better sense of the private sector’s requirements.

What other issues will you be following closely this year, both you personally and the Swiss people?

Switzerland’s political agenda in 2018 will also feature the actual implementation of the new energy policy, the revision of the Public Procurement Act, governance at multinational corporations and promoting world peace.

What personal goals are you setting yourself for your year in office?

One major one: to bring people closer together, to get them to share their legitimate concerns with one another.

This is something I want to do both at home and abroad. Within Switzerland, I’d like to go out and experience the country’s different cultures as often as I can so that we can find out about each other and develop a sense of mutual appreciation. And, on the international stage, my priority as president of the “people’s chamber” will be to reach out to our neighboring countries that are home to large Swiss communities. Above all, I will be trying to make everyday life easier for our fellow citizens, who sometimes face significant hassle sorting out their paperwork or their tax affairs. Ultimately, it is with these countries that we share the closest links and the most common issues. In that sense, a visit by the President of the Federal Assembly could be a boost to the work being done by the Federal Council, whose primary responsibility is Switzerland’s foreign policy.

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