State Secretary Roberto Balzaretti was appointed head of the Directorate for European Affairs (DEA) on 1 February 2018. He is also in charge of coordinating all negotiations with the European Union.
Roberto Balzaretti joined the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in 1991. After his traineeship in Bern and at the Swiss Mission to the European Community (now European Union) in Brussels, Balzaretti took up his first position in Bern at the Directorate of International Law (DIL), followed by a posting to the Swiss embassy in Washington DC. In 1999, he returned to the DIL where in 2003 he became the deputy director and head of the Division of International Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. In 2004, Balzaretti was appointed diplomatic adviser and Director of the Cabinet of the Minister (former). In 2008, following a brief posting to the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office and to the other international organisations in Geneva, the Federal Council appointed him secretary general of the FDFA. Between 2012 and 2016, Balzaretti headed the Mission of Switzerland to the EU in Brussels, before returning to Bern as director of the DIL. The Federal Council appointed him head of the DEA and coordinator of the negotiations with the EU with the title of state secretary as of 1 February 2018.
Balzaretti has a PhD in law from the University of Bern. He is married and father of five children.
The former head of the DEA, Ambassador Henri Gétaz, has been appointed Secretary-General of EFTA. He will remain within the FDFA in an advisory capacity until he assumes his new post on 1 September 2018.