The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA)

 

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is a centre of expertise for all issues concerning Swiss citizens living abroad and the international mobility of Swiss people. It is a non-political, non-denominational and independent, non-governmental organisation. 

It was founded in 1916 by the New Helvetic Society. In 1918 the first Conference for the Swiss Abroad was held during the Basel Trade Fair. In 1919 a permanent secretariat was established in Geneva. In 1923 it moved to Fribourg and then in 1928 to Bern where it is located at 26 Alpenstrasse since 1957. 

 

The organisation is made up of the legislative body – the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), the Executive Board, the Parliamentary Group ‘Swiss Abroad’ and the Secretariat.

The OSA works in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Switzerland Tourism and is supported by some 750 Swiss expatriates’ associations and Swiss institutions all over the world.

 

The OSA cooperates closely with the federal, cantonal and communal authorities. The FDFA has concluded a service-level agreement with the OSA in which the OSA's tasks are defined on the basis of the ‘Swiss Abroad Act‘. The Confederation provides financial support.

 

The OSA maintains close relations between Switzerland and its citizens abroad. It supports the cross-border mobility of Swiss citizens and encourages exchange between Switzerland and its diaspora. It also focuses in particular on young Swiss people abroad. In the implementation and delivery of the youth program, the OSA works in partnership with the Foundation for Young Swiss Abroad (FYSA) and educationsuisse. 

 

  

For one hundred years the mission of the OSA has been to provide support and services to Swiss expatriates world-wide and represent their interests before Swiss authorities and the public. The delivery of this mission is segmented into four pillars:

 

Informing

Keeping Swiss Abroad informed and in touch with current affairs and politics in Switzerland.

 

Linking

Providing a wide range of specialised services to promote good relations between Swiss living abroad and strengthen their ties with Switzerland.

 

Lobbying

Representing and defending the general interests of Swiss citizens living abroad before the Swiss authorities and with the public at home.

 

Advising

Providing free, up-to-date advice to Swiss living abroad as well as to Swiss citizens wishing to emigrate or return to Switzerland.

 

Click on the icon for more details about the mission or visit the website of the OSA.