Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

New Year’s photos from the Swiss government

The group photo of the seven-member Swiss Federal Council (executive body) is an annual ritual. It is not just a souvenir but also captures the mood and ambitions of the government through symbolism. 

This year’s photo shows the seven government ministers and the Federal Chancellor (left) gathered in front of a mountain panorama. The photo was taken by Bern photographer Sina Guntern at the Federal Palace in the Swiss capital.

The photographer created the panorama herself. The ministers pose in front of a canvas showing mountains such as the Matterhorn, Monte San Salvatore in canton Ticino, the Chasseral in the Bernese Jura, and the Säntis.

Viola Amherd, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency for 2024, wanted this year’s photo to emphasise the values of optimism, cohesion and anticipation that are “particularly important in difficult times”.

Optimism “allows us to believe in Switzerland’s ability to meet the challenges of our time by making the most of its strengths”, the Federal Chancellery said in a statement on December 31.

Cohesion “enables us to shoulder our responsibilities together and take courageous decisions” and anticipation allows us to build up the momentum we need to overcome the obstacles of tomorrow, said the Chancellery.

“Many people in our country are deeply shaken by what is happening in the world,” said Ahmerd. It is essential to act decisively during these times, she said.

According to the Federal Chancellery, the photo symbolises the fact that the Swiss government defends these values and uses them as a backdrop for its actions. Around 40,000 copies of the image were printed. It can also be downloaded and ordered from the federal government website.

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR