Bilateral Visits from 1848 until today

The purpose of bilateral visits is to foster and strengthen relations between two countries at the highest level. The following lists (in French) cover visits from 1848 until today that involved at least one member of the Swiss federal government.


  • Names of countries
    The current name is used, even if the country’s name was different at the time of the visit. In cases of post-1990 territorial changes (as in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia), the 1990 country designation is used.
  • Names of foreign dignitaries
    W Where possible, transcription errors found in the archived documents have been corrected and first names added.


The lists of bilateral visits have been compiled from one main source: the collection of files transferred by the seven federal departments to the Swiss Federal Archives (SFA). Some 4200 files have been evaluated.

Other sources have been consulted, in particular the (annual) Business Reports of the Federal Council, the Yearbook of Swiss Politics (published since 1965) and various lists of visits produced since the 1960s by Protocol of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

Problems of incomplete information became apparent as follows:

  • In the inventories of some departments which did not compile a list of visits or at least not systematically
  • In the transfer of the files to the SFA which was not systematic until 1990
  • In the contents of the files, of which some were incomplete, it was not possible to confirm whether the visit actually took place and whether at least one member of the Federal Council participated