100th anniversary of the OSA

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. Taking the title ’Switzerland in the World’, the anniversary year will of course look back at the OSA’s history but with the aim of focusing on the current and future needs of our fellow citizens worldwide. With events, books and a poster exhibition, this anniversary year will emphasise reflection, but in a celebratory spirit.

We wish to thank all of our anniversary partners.

The Swiss Abroad will be honoured throughout the anniversary year, and the diversity of emigration and its contribution to Switzerland will be highlighted. As part of this, we invite you to join us from 15 to 17 April in Brunnen and from 5 to 7 August in Berne, where the centenary congress will take place. Here is the events programme:

An overview of the 100th anniversary of the OSA in 2016

2 March 2016: Official launch of the Centenary of the Organisation of the Swiss Abroad

Official launch of the anniversary with a new homepage for the OSA’s website www.aso.ch where you will find the events programme, links to centenary publications and a virtual exhibition that traces the history of Swiss emigration and gives a presentation of the Swiss Abroad today.

A special stamp marking ‘100 years of the OSA and the Swiss Abroad’ produced in collaboration with Swiss Post will also be available.

15 to 17 April 2016: 25 years of the Area for the Swiss Abroad in Brunnen

The Area for the Swiss Abroad was officially opened in 1991 as part of the celebrations marking the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation. The site, located in Brunnen in the canton of Schwyz, symbolises the importance of the 762,000 Swiss Abroad to our nation.

While the OSA is celebrating its centenary, the Area for the Swiss Abroad is commemorating its 25th anniversary. To mark this occasion, three days of celebrations are planned. A ceremony, which will be attended by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Ammann, will officially open a permanent poster exhibition at the Area for the Swiss Abroad. For more information, visit www.aso.ch.

24 July to 4 August 2016: Trek by young people in Switzerland

Over a two-week period, 100 young Swiss Abroad – divided into four groups – will set off from the four corners of our country to discover Switzerland. They will report on their adventures on the www.swissinfo.ch website and in the SSR-SRG media channels. For more information, see www.aso.ch and www.swisscommunity.org/en/youth/leisure-offers.

5 to 7 August 2016: 94th Congress of the Swiss Abroad (Berne)

Friday 5 August 2016

While the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA) is holding its summer meeting at the Federal Palace during the morning and afternoon, events will be taking place on the Bundesplatz. The programme will include free concerts, entertainment and information stands. Speeches will be held on the Bundesplatz by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, representatives of the city of Berne and the canton of Berne and the main partners in the centenary celebrations. The meeting of the CSA and the speeches and concerts on the Bundesplatz will be broadcast live and streamed via www.aso.ch thanks to support from swissinfo and the SRG SSR.

Saturday 6 August 2016: Congress conference

The morning will be given over to visits organised for the congress participants (Federal Palace, media and production centre). In the afternoon, congress participants will meet at the Kultur Casino in Berne for a conference on ‘Switzerland in the world – the development of international mobility.’ The final evening will also be held at Berne’s Kultur Casino.

Sunday 7 August 2016: Excursions

Trips to the Swiss Open-Air Museum in Ballenberg organised together with Switzerland Tourism. Congress details and registration at http://aso.ch/en/offers/congress-of-the-swiss-abroad.

Publications, online poster exhibition, stamp commemorating the OSA’s 100th anniversary

At www.aso.ch you will find the detailed events programme, links to centenary publications, a poster exhibition and the stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary.

The OSA’s centenary year promises to be an occasion full of dialogue and events. We hope many of you come to Brunnen and Berne to allow us to share these moments with you.

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