Swiss Global Dialogue roundtable on local government held in Bern

Participating in the Global Dialogue roundtable on local government and metropolitan regions, from left: Prof. Daniel Kübler of the Institute of Political Science of the University of Zurich; Dr. Paul Huber, former president of the Canton of Lucern; Mrs. Madelaine Meier of the department of justice of the Canton of Lucern and Prof. Thomas Fleiner of the Institute of Federalism of the University of Fribourg.

Thirty participants, including civil servants, elected officials and academics from Switzerland’s cities, cantons and the federal government met in Berne recently to discuss the challenges to local government. The group also looked at how Switzerland and two neighbouring countries, Germany and France, are responding to contemporary urban problems. The event was the Swiss Global Dialogue roundtable on local government and metropolitan regions, one of a dozen being held in federal countries around the world in the Forum’s Global Dialogue program. The Swiss participants looked at everything from the successes and failures of Swiss policies of merging cities and rural governments to problems and trends in local government worldwide.

Mr. Thomas Minger from the Conference of Cantonal Governments and Prof. Andreas Ladner from the Institut de hautes études en administration publique of the Université de Lausanne were the country co-ordinators and organizers of the event for the Forum on Dec. 21, 2006.

Participants included Dr. Daniel Arn, lawyer, Arn und Friederich; Dr. Raoul Blindenbacher, Forum of Federations; Mr. Philippe Brun, Département du terrritoire, Agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise; Dr. Werner Bussmann, Federal Department of Justice; Mr. Christian Cappis, economic region of ‘Espace Mitteland’; Mr. Frédéric Duvinage, Trinationale Agglomeration Basel; Prof. Thomas Fleiner, Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg; Dr. Urs Geissmann, Swiss League of Cities; Mr. Peter Glauser, Federal Department of Statistics; Mrs. Nicole Gysin, Confrence of Cantonal Governments; and Mr. Henri Huber, former president of Grossrat.

Others attending were Dr. Paul Huber, former Premier of Lucerne; Dr. Yvette Jaggi, University of Lausanne; Mrs. Barbara Jeanneret, Federal Department of Statistics; Mr. Michel Kammermann, Federal Department of Statistics; Mr. Donald A. Keller, Regional Planning Office of Zurich and Environs; Prof. Daniel Kübler, University of Zürich; Dr. Heiri Leuthold, University of Zürich; Mrs. Madeleine Meier, Canton of Lucern; Prof. Thomas Pfisterer, Member of Parliament; Prof. Martin Schuler, Ecole Polytechique Fédérale de Lausanne; Mrs. Karin Schulte, City Development Department, Zürich; Dr. Reto Steiner, University of Bern; Mr. Georg Tobler, Federal Department of Development; and Dr. Bernhard Waldmann, University of Fribourg.

Other Global Dialogue roundtables on the same theme will be held in 2007 in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 26, and in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 9. Other roundtables were held in 2006 in London, Canada, Jos, Nigeria; and in Bern, Switzerland. Others are planned for Austria, Germany, Mexico and the United States.

Later in 2007, an international roundtable will be held, followed by the publication of a book. The local government theme is the Forum’s sixth in the Global Dialogue series.

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