Joseph Deiss

Joseph Deiss

Infobox Politician
name=Joseph Deiss

office=Member of the Swiss Federal Council
predecessor = Flavio Cotti
successor = Doris Leuthard
order2 = President of the Swiss Confederation
term_start2 = January 1, 2004
term_end2 = December 31, 2004
vicepresident2 = Samuel Schmid
viceprimeminister2 =
deputy2 =
president2 =
primeminister2 =
predecessor2 = Pascal Couchepin
successor2 = Samuel Schmid
birth_date=birth date and age|1946|01|18

Joseph Deiss (born January 18, 1946) is an economist, Swiss politician and a member of the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP/PDC). From 1999 to 2006, he was a member of the Swiss Federal Council, heading first the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (1999–2002) and then the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (2003–2006).

Political career

Legislative and local experience

Joseph Deiss started his political career in 1981 as a representative of his party in the cantonal parliament of Fribourg. In 1991 he became the president of the cantonal parliament for one year. Between 1982 and 1996 Deiss was the mayor of his home village Barberêche (FR).

In 1991 he was elected to the National Council. From 1995 to 1996 Deiss was vice president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council. In 1996 he was made president of the committee in charge of the total revision of the Swiss Constitution.

In the Federal Council

Deiss was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on March 11, 1999, along with his erstwhile colleague Ruth Metzler-Arnold. Together with Adalbert Durrer and Remigio Ratti, he was one of three official candidates proposed by the CVP for the seat of retiring Councillor Flavio Cotti. However, the election became a narrow contest between Deiss and Peter Hess, who was favoured by many conservative representatives. Deiss eventually won after the sixth ballot, by 120 to 119 votes. [Official Record of the United Federal Assembly, " [ AB V 1999 625] ".]

In office, he has headed the following departments:
*Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (1999–2002)
*Federal Department of Economic Affairs (since 2003)

After the non-reelection of Ruth Metzler-Arnold on December 10, 2003, he was elected President of the Confederation for 2004, one year earlier than would have been regular. He became the only remaining representative of the CVP in the Council.

On April 27, 2006, Deiss rather unexpectedly resigned as Federal Councillor. [ [ Bundesrat Deiss tritt zurück] , NZZ Online, April 27, 2006.] The CVP's seat not being contested by the other parties, he was succeeded by the president of the CVP, Doris Leuthard, who took over from Deiss on August 1, 2006.

Professional career

Joseph Deiss studied economics and social sciences for his first degree at the University of Fribourg. He continued to complete a doctorate at the same university after which he spent some time doing research at King's College at the University of Cambridge.

After this period of research Joseph Deiss took on the post of lecturing Economics at the University of Fribourg. In 1983 he was made visiting professor at a number of Swiss universities: ETH Zurich, University of Lausanne and University of Geneva.

From 1993 to 1996 Joseph Deiss acted as National Price Supervisor. He then returned to the University of Fribourg to become the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. At this time at university, Joseph Deiss was also the chairman of the Board of Directors at "Schumacher AG" in Schmitten (FR) and chairman of the Raiffeisenbank in Haut-Lac, Courtepin (FR).

Personal life

Deiss is married and has three sons.

Joseph Deiss is an Honorary Member of [ The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation]


*"Manuel d'économie politique", with Danielle Meuwly, 1st edition 1994, reedited.
*"Initiation à l'économie politique : analyse économique de la Suisse", 1st edition 1982, reedited.
*"Economie politique et politique économique de la Suisse", 1st edition 1979, reedited.
*"The regional adjustment process and regional monetary policy", 1978.
*"La théorie pure des termes de l'échange international", doctorate thesis, 1971.


External links

* [ Official biography]
*Swiss Federal Councillor|109

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