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Country Reports

Switzerland Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Swiss politics is characterised by consensus-building between the four largest parties: the right-wing SVP, the pro-business FDP, the centre-left SP, and the centre-right CVP. These parties are called "the government parties" and form the seven-member Swiss Federal Council, which serves as the collective head of state and government. Switzerland's economic outlook has improved significantly as businesses have adjusted to the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) decision to abandon the Swiss franc cap versus the euro. In addition, the Swiss government decided against the introduction of a cap on EU migrants in an attempt to improve relations with the bloc and maintain the country's access to the single market. Terrorism risks are likely to remain lower than in neighbouring countries such asFrance and Germany.

Last update: September 30, 2018

Operational Outlook

Switzerland's operational environment is likely to remain of a very high standard. Located in the centre of Europe with good infrastructure links across the continent, Switzerland is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign businesses in the region. To maintain access to the EU single market, the Swiss parliament rejected a law on curbing EU migration, reducing investor uncertainty. Sectors notably affected include pharmaceuticals, financial services, and fast-moving consumer goods industries. Moreover, measures to remove tariffs on imported industrial goods are being implemented by the government. The debate about replacing current bilateral Swiss-EU treaties with a more formalised treaty is ongoing.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Terrorism

Elevated

The risk of jihadist terrorist attacks is lower in Switzerland than in many other European countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. However, a low-capability attack by a lone actor or small cell inspired by non-state armed groups such as the Islamic State has become increasingly likely. An anti-radicalisation plan and a new set of anti-terrorism measures recently proposed by the government are likely to bring about increased police powers. Generally, the most likely targets would be public transport, crowded public spaces, security forces, or international organisations, which are mostly based in Geneva.

Last update: September 4, 2018

War Risks

Interstate war risks are highly likely to remain negligible in Switzerland thanks to the country's friendly diplomatic and economic relations with most European countries and many other states around the world. Switzerland is an internally stable country overall that follows the principle of neutrality and faces no external aggression that could lead to war. As a result, the likelihood of a war on Swiss soil will remain very low. Switzerland's armed forces do not engage in conflicts in other countries, but they do participate in international peacekeeping missions.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Social Stability

Low

Switzerland is an internally stable country, and the likelihood of large-scale protests resulting in unrest and violence is likely to remain very low. The country usually only experiences disruptive protests and riots on predictable dates, such as during the World Economic Forum, which is held in Davos every January. There is also a risk of anti-Islam and anti-immigration protests, as well as minor demonstrations by far-right and also left-wing groups. Overall, larger rallies are most likely to take place in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lucerne, St. Gallen, and Bern.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Health Risk

Low

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 28, 2013

Natural Risks

Elevated

Mountain accidents are regularly reported and there is a risk of avalanches in mountainous areas year round. Between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017, seven people were killed in avalanche accidents. Most Western governments advise travelers to purchase search-and-rescue insurance.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Low

Drivers are required to purchase and display a CHF 40 (EUR 25) vignette (sticker) before driving on the country's highways. The vignettes are available for purchase at most border crossing points, gas stations, Swiss Post offices, by phone (+800 1002 0030), and online.

Public transportation - trains, buses, and trams - are of the highest quality.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Switzerland is a mountainous country whose climate is semi-continental with oceanic and sometimes Mediterranean influences. Winters are very cold and summers hot. It rains regularly throughout the year. Temperatures tend to be lower at higher elevations while the north of the country, which has lower elevations, experiences higher temperatures and hotter summers.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +41
Police: 117
Fire Dept.: 118
Ambulance: 144

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: January 29, 2014