Alain Berset elected Secretary General of Council of Europe

Press releases, 25.06.2024

Bern, 25.06.2024 - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has elected former Swiss President and Federal Councillor Alain Berset as its new Secretary General. His term will start on 18 September 2024. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) supported Mr Berset's candidature and welcomes his election to this post.

Former Federal Councillor and President of the Confederation Alain Berset.
Former Federal Councillor and President of the Confederation Alain Berset. © Anoush Abrar

Following the campaign that the FDFA launched in early January, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), composed of parliamentarians from the 46 member states, elected Mr Berset to the post of Secretary General by a majority of 114 votes out of 245 votes.

This election follows a recommendation by the Council's Committee of Ministers, which forwarded Mr Berset's candidature to PACE at the end of March, along with those of Didier Reynders (Belgium) and Indrek Saar (Estonia).

Elected for a five-year term, Mr Berset will represent and lead the Council of Europe, taking on responsibility for its strategic planning, the thrust of its activities and the management of its budget.

The head of the FDFA, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, congratulates Mr Berset and wishes him every success in his new role. The Council of Europe, which Switzerland joined in 1963, is the leading organisation for the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Since its establishment in 1949, it has created a common legal framework among its 46 member states, underpinned by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr. Berset visited Albania first in 2022 in his function as Switzerland’s Vice President and Minister of Home Affairs, Social Protection and Health, and more recently he was in Albania to garner support for his Council of Europe candidacy.