The government most trusted by its citizens

A recent report from the OECD highlights Switzerland’s exceptional situation when it comes to trust in government.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released “Government at a Glance 2015”. The report provides indicators on the entire production chain of government including resources (financial and human), practices and procedures and key trends in performance and results. Chapter 11, called Core Government Results, assesses the trust in government.

On behalf of the OECD, Gallup World Poll led a survey among 1,000 Swiss citizens last year. Almost 80% of them said they trusted their government. This is the highest rate among all the 34 OECD countries. It seems the average confidence in the Swiss government between 2007 and 2014 increased by about 10 percentage points – again a very satisfying result. In addition, the study suggests that that citizens’ trust in government reflects their approval of their country’s leadership. Evidence also shows that trust in government is negatively correlated with the perceived levels of corruption in government. In other words, the fact that Swiss see the activities of their government in a positive light encourages them to follow its decisions and to perceive it as uncorrupted.

Moreover, Switzerland just ranked 5th in the latest Global Peace Index issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an interesting information when put into perspective with the findings from the OECD’s report.

The above emphasizes the stability of the Swiss political system. The nation’s federal structures create strong links between government, business, and civil society. The government is lean, consisting of the seven members of the Federal Council. Each member is appointed Federal President for one year on a rotational basis. The constituent states of the Swiss Confederation, the 26 cantons, enjoy a large degree of autonomy, particularly in healthcare, education, and culture. The same goes for the 2,500 municipalities, each of which has independent tax-raising powers. Swiss citizens can participate directly in the political process through referendums, initiatives, and plebiscites. The stable political situation guarantees a high level of security for investments in Switzerland, contributing in making it one of the most attractive business locations worldwide.

For more information, please refer to the Handbook for Investors (Security and Trust).

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