Switzerland includes citizens abroad through e-democracy tools

The annual assembly of Swiss citizens living outside of Switzerland will discuss how information technology and social media shape the interactions between Swiss abroad and their fellow citizens, their government and administration in Switzerland. Web applications play an especially important role for Swiss living abroad who wish to exercise their political rights.

Swiss living abroad are often called “The Fifth Switzerland,” referring to the other Swiss living in one of the four linguistic regions of Switzerland (French, German, Italian, and Romansch). The Organization of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) represents Swiss expatriates’ interests in Switzerland. It informs Swiss living abroad about what is happening in Switzerland and provides them with a wide selection of services. Once a year, about 400 Swiss citizens living outside of Switzerland travel to their home country to assemble for the annual congress.

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92nd Congress of the Swiss Abroad from August 15 to August 17, 2014 in Baden.

This year’s congress addresses how information technology and social media shape the interactions between Swiss abroad and their fellow citizens, their government and administration in Switzerland. Web applications play an especially important role for Swiss living abroad who wish to exercise their political rights. In some states, Swiss abroad can already vote electronically. Through social networks, citizens abroad can directly participate in political discussions and express their opinions.

The OSA has created its own social network, SwissCommunity.org, a platform which offers a large network for expats. With over 30,000 registered Swiss networking, exchanging ideas and connecting the dots between expats has never been easier.

ABOUT THE OSA
The OSA is supported by some 750 Swiss expatriates’ associations and Swiss institutions all over the world. It was founded in 1916 and is recognized by the authorities as the representative body of the Fifth Switzerland. Information and advice on all types of legal, social security insurance and training matters are also provided by the OSA, as well as the magazine Swiss Review and a wide variety of activities for young Swiss abroad.

Read More About the 92nd Congress of the Swiss Abroad (German & French only)



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