Parliament is meeting for its regular three-week winter session likely to be dominated by discussions over financial matters, including the 2011 federal budget.
The government foresees a deficit of SFr594 million ($597 million) next year with revenue of about SFr61.9 billion.
However, there are plans to cut spending notably for development aid.
Other highlights of the session include the election of the Swiss president and the speakers of both parliamentary chambers for the next 12 months.
Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is set to take over the largely ceremonial presidential post for the second time in her political career.
In the final week of the session the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Joseph Deiss – a former Swiss foreign minister - is due to address parliament.