The ‘Swiss Review’ magazine is published by the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA). It was launched in 1973 and appears six times per year in German, French, English and Spanish in 14 regional editions. The magazine is published both in printed form and as an online version. It has a total circulation of 418,000, including 223,000 electronic copies. The circulation in Oceania is 20,200 – 11,500 of which are electronic copies.
All Swiss Abroad who are registered with a Swiss representation receive the magazine free of charge. Its purpose is to provide them with information about Switzerland and keeping them up-to-date about Swiss current affairs. It reports politically neutral on issues that are of interest to Swiss Abroad. Special emphasis is given to politics and government information and announcements, enabling Swiss citizens living abroad to exercise their voting rights in a responsible and informed manner and strengthens their ties with the home country.
Your consular representation is responsible for all subscribtion matters. Any issue/request should therefore be addressed to the Swiss Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington or to the Consulate General in Sydney, depending on where you are domiciled/registered.
Eight pages of regional news are included in four out of the six issues that appear per year. The ‘Regional News Oceania’ focuses on the activities of the local community and on providing consular information. The schedule for 2020 is as follows:
no regional issue
no regional issue
23.07.2020 AS ONLINE VERSION ONLY
Editorial contributions and advertising from the community are always welcome. Please contact CSA member, Roland Isler who is the regional editor for the ‘Regional News Oceania’.
Since 2010, the ‘Swiss Review’ has been delivered as an online edition as standard. This means that anyone whose email address is registered with a Swiss representation will receive the magazine by email unless they have expressly registered for the printed version.
The OSA is encouraging those who currently receive the printed edition to switch to the electronic version. Printing and shipping costs are an enormous expenditure item and shipping is not always the most ecologically sensible option. Apart from doing the right thing by the environment, switching to online also means you will receive the ‘Review’ earlier and have access to all content at any time and from any location. When switching, please ensure you advise your Swiss representation of this. It does not help the environment or save costs if you read the electronic version and afterwards receive the printed version only to discarded it.
Whether on paper or on a screen, the content of the ‘Swiss Review’ is always identical
The recommended way is to report the change from print to online (or vice versa) in writing (email or letter) to the Swiss Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington or to the Consulate General in Sydney, depending on where you are domiciled/registered.
Another option is to use the online desk of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), which was created for Swiss Abroad. Then click on > Living abroad > Online desk FDFA. Prior registration is required to use the online desk.
As important as it is to keep costs down, the OSA is committed to continue to offer the printed edition of the ‘Review’. Readers who particularly appreciate receiving the printed edition are now able to support it with a voluntary subscription fee. Any support expressed in this way is very much appreciated.
Voluntary subscription fees can be sent to:
Berner Kantonalbank AG, 3001 Bern
Beneficiary: Auslandschweizer-Organisation, Alpenstrasse 26, 3006 Bern
IBAN: CH97 0079 0016 1294 4609 8
Reason for payment: Support Swiss Review
Saturday, 5 October saw the ‘Young Swiss Citizen Celebration’ being held for the fourth time in Melbourne. 13 young Swiss who recently celebrated their 18th birthday, and thus became fully-fletched Swiss citizens, followed the invitation by the Hon. Consul, Manuela Erb, to a luncheon at the Swiss Club of Victoria. They were accompanied by families and friends.
CSA elections in 2021: because the Swiss e-voting systems are on hold until further notice, direct election via e-voting of the CSA delegates (as per pilot projects in Australia and Mexico in 2016) will not be possible. The CSA Delegates in Australia will have the job to organise the next elections without certainty of assistance at this stage. Importance is given to umbrella organisations in countries where they exist, which will have the task to organise fair and democratic elections. Default solution is the ‘old System’ each country carried in the past.
The 50th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Summit took place in Tuvalu from 13 to 16 August, 2019.
Switzerland is a success story, but it will have to evolve under fast changing international conditions. Therefore, foreign policy will become more important for Switzerland’s prosperity and security. Starting from these reflections, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis established the AVIS28 working group in 2018 with the aim to define a coherent and adaptive foreign policy vision for Switzerland for 2028. AVIS28 is a source of inspiration and new ideas, and at the same time, it should initiate a broad discussion on the future of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland needs the courage to change. Its foreign policy must become more focused, networked and agile. Switzerland should also work more closely with like-minded states, like Australia and New Zealand, towards their common goals.
A lot has happened lately with regards to e-voting. There has been growing resistance and a fair bit of scare-mongering in Switzerland regarding the introduction of e-voting. Whilst the advantages are obvious to the government and the Swiss Abroad, sceptics argue that the trust in the democratic process is compromised due to e-security uncertainty and the cost of developing a secure system is also a concern. Earlier this year, a broad alliance of political parties has been collecting signatures for a popular initiative. Their aim is to ban the introduction of e-voting for at least five years.
The Consulate General of Switzerland in Sydney and the Embassy of Switzerland in Wellington inform that they plan to visit the following cities with the mobile passport station:
• Auckland (May)
• Northland (May – only if sufficient interest)
• Perth (first half of April)
• Melbourne (October)
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 13 June 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) representing the interests of 751,800 compatriots living abroad, is disappointed that the Council of States today rejected Motion 17.3626 by 30 votes to 9 with 4 abstentions. The Council of States has decided not to follow the majority of its Foreign Policy Commission (APK-S) and has rejected a motion calling on PostFinance to accept Swiss Abroad on similar terms as citizens residing in Switzerland. The problem that has existed for our compatriots living abroad for ten years remains unresolved.
OSA PRESS RELEASE: Bern, 30 May 2018 – The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is relieved that the Council of States has today decided to follow the recommendation of its Commission on Social Security and Health (SGK-S) to delete the amendment to Article 4 (1) in the context of the supplementary benefits reform. This means that the current rules remain in place. Last March, the National Council approved an application whereby Swiss Abroad would have had to pay social security contributions (AHV) for at least ten years in order to qualify for supplementary benefits, which would have discriminated against Swiss Abroad.
On 10 March 2018, at he CSA meeting in Bern, the executive of the OSA announced that it had entered into a partnership with the Geneva Cantonal Bank (BCGE).
More information is available under the topic Swiss Banks.
The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) would like to know about difficulties you have encountered in the area of health insurance and the practical problems that you face as a Swiss person living abroad. This may be of specific relevance to those living temporarily in the Oceania region or those in need for travel insurance when visiting Switzerland. By the same token, if you have had positive experiences or wish to share good practices, please do so!
The purpose is to look at ways of improving the situation of Swiss people living abroad in this regard.
You can send your experiences and suggestions to us delegates and/or directly to the head office in Bern: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Swiss Parliament voted for the Introduction of Automatic Exchange of Information with New Zealand. A summary and comments by Peter Ehrler, New Zealand Member of the Council of the Swiss Abroad.
On 27 September, the National Council (Nationalrat) followed the recommendation from the Economic Commission of the Lower House and rejected implementing the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) with New Zealand. The majority of the members are of the opinion that the Swiss in New Zealand are disadvantaged over other Swiss living abroad, because of the Swiss pension (AHV) being confiscated by the New Zealand Government.