Organisation of the Swiss Abroad

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad is the centre of expertise for all questions concerning Swiss citizens living abroad. It is an independent non-governmental organisation with no political or religious affiliation. It represents the interests of Swiss citizens living abroad, providing them with a wide range of services.

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is a foundation based in Switzerland and supported by approximately 750 Swiss expatriate associations and institutions and their umbrella organisations.

Structure

The highest body of the OSA is the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) with 120 delegates from abroad and 20 representatives from closely related institutions in Switzerland. The CSA deals with the most important questions of policy on the Swiss Abroad.  It is recognised by the federal authorities as the voice of the Swiss Abroad and acts as a kind of parliament.

The OSA offices in Bern are the Secretariat for the Swiss Abroad. They provide numerous services that are available to all Swiss citizens living abroad.

Tasks

The OSA informs Swiss citizens abroad about important events and developments in their home country and provides eligible Swiss voters abroad with the basic information they need to be able to exercise their political rights in Switzerland. To this end the OSA uses the following communication channels:

  • The 'Swiss Review' magazine
    Distributed throughout the world with a circulation of more than 400,000 in four languages and available online at: www.revue.ch

  • Its website

  • The ASO Info newsletter

The OSA brings together Swiss citizens from around the world in a network and represents their interests towards authorities, institutions and the Swiss public. It works together with Swiss associations and institutions abroad. In addition, it places a communications platform, SwissCommunity.org, at their disposal.

The OSA advises the Swiss Abroad on questions in connection with emigration, living abroad and returning to Switzerland. Together with partner organisations it offers Swiss citizens living abroad a wide range of services.

Cooperation with the authorities

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.