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Dear Swiss Abroad,

16.09.2020

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) has a small but important favour to ask. Please ensure that your local Swiss representation has your current personal email address.

Many Swiss expatriates have not yet provided their Swiss representation with an email address, while many of the email addresses registered with Swiss representations are no longer used. The OSA urges you to keep your email address up to date. This is important for a number of reasons.

Protection and security: The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown how vital it is to stay connected in times of crisis. Armed with your latest email address, your Swiss representation can contact you quickly and easily in a crisis. This is for your own protection and security.

Weight and influence: All Swiss living abroad being reachable by email translates into greater political leverage for the “Fifth Switzerland”. This is precisely what we want with a view to enabling direct elections to the “Parliament of the Fifth Switzerland”, the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), to be staged online. Having everyone’s email address offers the possibility to invite all Swiss Abroad to participate in a direct election – although at present it is not clear when such an election could take place. Essentially, direct elections enhance the legitimacy of the CSA. In turn, this will give the OSA greater weight and influence when it comes to representing the interests of the Swiss Abroad within Switzerland.

Please note that you should provide your local consulate, not the OSA, with your email address. For data protection reasons, the OSA cannot access the addresses of Swiss who live abroad. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is responsible for managing the relevant address database. You can also enter your new or updated email address simply and easily via the FDFA’s online desk for Swiss nationals residing abroad: www.eda.admin.ch/swissabroad. This dedicated government website is a one-stop shop, offering you convenient online access to a range of services.

I hope you enjoy this new issue of “Swiss Review”. All the best, and stay safe.

Ariane Rustichelli
OSA Director

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