Green Party of Switzerland

The Green Party of Switzerland (German: Grüne Partei der Schweiz; French: Les verts  Parti écologiste suisse; Italian: I Verdi  Partito ecologista svizzero; Romansh: La Verda  Partida ecologica svizra; "The Greens  Swiss ecologist party") is the fourth-largest party in the National Council of Switzerland and the largest party that is not represented on the Federal Council.[5]

Green Party of Switzerland
German nameGrüne Partei der Schweiz (GPS)
French nameLes verts – Parti écologiste suisse (PES)
Italian nameI Verdi – Partito ecologista svizzero (PES)
Romansh nameLa Verda – Partida ecologica svizra
PresidentRegula Rytz (since 2016)[1]
Members of the Federal CouncilNone
Founded28 May 1983 (28 May 1983)
HeadquartersWaisenhausplatz 21
CH-3011 Bern
Membership (2015)7,500[2]
IdeologyGreen politics[3]
Political positionLeft-wing[4]
European affiliationEuropean Green Party
International affiliationGlobal Greens
Colours     Green
National Council
28 / 200
Council of States
5 / 46
Cantonal Executives
7 / 154
Cantonal legislatures
216 / 2,609

Swiss Federal Council
Federal Chancellor
Federal Assembly
Council of States (members)
National Council (members)


The first Green party in Switzerland was founded as a local party in 1971 in the town of Neuchâtel. In 1979, Daniel Brélaz was elected to the National Council as the first Green MP on the national level (in Switzerland and in the world). Local and regional Green parties and organisations were founded in many different towns and cantons in the following years.

In 1983, two different national green party federations were created: in May, diverse local green groups came together in Fribourg to form the Federation of Green Parties of Switzerland, and in June, some left-alternative groups formed the Green Alternative Party of Switzerland in Bern. In 1990, an attempt to combine these organisations failed. Afterward, some of the member groups from the Green Alternative Party joined the Federation of Green Parties which has become the de facto national Green party. In 1993, the Federation of Green Parties changed its name to the Green Party of Switzerland.[6]

In 1986, the first two Green members of a cantonal government become members of the Regierungsrat of Bern.

In 1987, the Green Party of Switzerland joined the European Federation of Green Parties.

In the 1990s, members of the Green Party became town mayors, members of the high court and even president of a cantonal government (Verena Diener in 1999).

In 2007, the centrist wing of the party split away and formed the Green Liberal Party of Switzerland.


The traditional emphases of the party's policies lie in environmentalism and green means of transportation. In terms of foreign policy, the greens set out on the course of openness and pacifism. In economic policy, the greens are centre-left. The majority of greens support an accession of Switzerland to the European Union. In immigration policy, the greens support further integration initiatives for immigrants. The greens support measures to increase energy efficiency, oppose nuclear power, and support raising energy and fuel prices. According to their policy, the resulting revenues should be allocated to social security spending.

National Council and Council of States

Election year # of overall votes % of overall vote # of National Council
seats won
+/- # of Council of States
seats won
+/- Notes
1979 11,583 0.6
1 / 200
0 / 46
1983 37,079 1.9
3 / 200
0 / 46
1987 94,378 4.9
9 / 200
0 / 46
1991 124,149 6.1
14 / 200
0 / 46
1995 96,069 5.0
8 / 200
0 / 46
1999 96,807 5.0
8 / 200
0 / 46
2003 156,226 7.4
13 / 200
0 / 46
2007 222,206 9.6
20 / 200
2 / 46
2011 205,984 8.4
15 / 200
2 / 46
2015[7] 177,938 7.1
11 / 200
1 / 46

On the national level, in 2003 the Green Party was not represented in the Council of States or Federal Council. In 2007, two Green Party members were elected to the Council of States.[8]

By 2005, the party held 3.8 percent of the seats in the Swiss cantonal executive governments and 6.9 percent in the Swiss cantonal parliaments (index "BADAC", weighted with the population and number of seats). In 2007, the Green Party was represented in the governments of the cantons Bern, Basel-City, Geneva (two ministers), Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, Vaud, Zug (two ministers) and Zurich.[9]

Party strength over time


Percentage of the total vote for the Green Party in Federal Elections 1971-2019[10][11]
Appenzell A.Rh.**********6.4**
Appenzell I.Rh.*************
St. Gallen*****
1.^a * indicates that the party was not on the ballot in this canton.
2.^b Part of the Canton of Bern until 1979.

Party presidents

This is an incomplete list of the presidents of the Green Party:

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Präsidium" (in German). Grüne Partei der Schweiz. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  2. The Swiss Confederation — A Brief Guide (PDF). Federal Chancellery. 2015. p. 20. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  3. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Switzerland". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  4. Federal Chancellery, Communication Support (2016). The Swiss Confederation – a brief guide. Switzerland: Swiss Confederation. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  5. "Switzerland | Left of Centre | The Green Party of Switzerland | Trade Bridge Consultants". Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  6. Lucardie, Paul (5 December 2016). Green Parties in Transition: The End of Grass-roots Democracy?. Routledge. ISBN 9781351932110.
  7. Bundesamt für Statistik. "Nationalratswahlen: Übersicht Schweiz". Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  8. NZZ Online, November 11, 2007 (German)
  9. Church, Clive (October 2007). "ELECTION BRIEFING No 39 EUROPE AND THE SWISS PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS OF 21OCTOBER 2007". Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  10. Nationalratswahlen: Kantonale Parteistärke, zusammengefasst nach Parteien (Kanton = 100%) (Report). Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 2015.
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