The legal basis for the Swiss parliamentary delegation to the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie is contained in the Federal Assembly Ordinance on international relations of the Parliament (ORInt) (RS 171.117).
Working methods of the delegation
The Swiss section takes part in all the activities of the FPA, be they plenary sessions, bureau or committee meetings, or activities aimed at reinforcing democratic institutions in French-speaking countries, such as observing electoral procedures or taking part in parliamentary seminars.
At the same time, the Swiss section organises its own activities, including bilateral meetings with other sections of the FPA.
Finally, the delegation maintains close contact with the French-speaking service of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Composition of the delegation
In compliance with Art. 6, para. 1, point d, of the Ordinance on international relations (ORInt)(RS 171.117), the permanent delegation to the APF comprises three members from the National Council and two from the Council of States. In addition, three members of the National Council and two members of the Council of States are appointed as deputies. Logically, the delegation is made up solely of French-speaking members of parliament.
The purpose of having ten members in the delegation is to enable all the political elements of the French-speaking part of the country to be represented, as well as to ensure that Switzerland can participate in all the activities of the FPA. Dates for FPA meetings are not always set long in advance, and the time allowed for signing up and preparing for the meeting is often quite short. The Swiss delegation therefore needs to be on the larger side in order to deal with all the situations that may arise.