Brienzersee. Photo/Foto: TES.

Chapeau Switzerland

The lake of Brienz (Brienzersee) prepares the environment for 1 August 2022, apparently inspired by “The cradle of the confederation”, a mural in the Great Hall of the Swiss parliament by Charles Giron (1859-1914), 1901.

Giron has the Rütli in mind, the meadow at Lake Urner (Urnersee), a part of Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee). The first three Eidgenossen from Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden confirmed their agreement of mutual assistance in various fields by an oath (Eid). Whether it is, a fact or a legend is irrelevant, as is the story about William Tell (Wilhelm Tell), Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, or the Goddess Athena, the founder of Athens. 

Wilhelm Tell Monument Altdorf. Photo: TES.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, similar treaties were often concluded between cities and communes throughout Europe during the medieval period. This alliance and its successors have survived. They extended to 13 cantons in 1513 and 25 cantons in 1848. 

Switzerland is a bottom-up nation created in a complicated process of centuries. The country has four languages (many more dialects), various cultures, and religions.

It is Europe’s best functioning democracy (including its shortcomings), with the world’s most innovative and competitive industry, one of the best European universities and the best infrastructure in often challenging geographical circumstances.

It is one of the most hospitable countries for asylum seekers and migrants, and the country knows a relatively successful integration.

The country is a global exporter with an open and cosmopolitan mentality for business and (other) cultures and highly regarded scholars.

The Swiss National Bank is known for its solid monetary policy. Above all, Switzerland is a critical partner of the European Union. Hopefully, the citizens, politicians and journalists will cherish what has been built over the centuries.

National competencies given to the EU will never be returned, even if the EU does not keep its promises and agreements and does not realise its (sometimes even megalomaniacal) ambitions.

The EU is not a democracy. The European People, public opinion, trias politica and identity do not exist. The conditions for a parliamentary democracy are not present. .

The euro and the Swiss Franc 2002-2022

The hallmark of Switzerland is precisely the opposite. Engagement of citizens, innovation, competitiveness and (direct) democracy. From Riom or Scuol in the canton of Grisons to Môtier or La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel, citizens, culture, and businesses create and support (local) initiatives and (business) projects.

The Mont Terri Rock Laboratory near St. Ursanne. Photo: TES.

In which other countries attend thousands of citizens’ summer courses (i.e. not regular courses) in Italian, French, German or Romanish to understand one of the other languages of their country? Switzerland is the genuine European Union, but it also indicates the feasible limits.

The German newspaper Die Welt published an article (27 July 2019) about members of the European Parliament. In the background, one can read “Kommt, wir bauen das neue Europa“, Join us, we built the new Europe.

Hopefully, there will be no black mourning clouds over the Brienzersee for over ten years. Switzerland, look after your case and your beautiful country, democracy and society.

The 26 cantons. Source: Les 26 cantons suisses. Foto: