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Filippo Lombardi elected new president of Swiss Abroad

The former Christian Democrat Senator for Ticino said he would "defend the interests of the Fifth Switzerland boldly and vigorously". Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad has elected its long-time Vice-President Filippo Lombardi to be its new president.

This content was published on August 20, 2021 - 16:18
swissinfo.ch/br

Following his election at a Council meeting on Friday, Lombardi said he had learned a lot about the concerns of the Swiss Abroad in parliament, on the board of the Organisation of the Swiss AbroadExternal link (OSA) and as its vice-president. He also lived abroad himself for six years in Brussels.

Lombardi, 65, was a member of the Senate for Ticino for 20 years and is one of Switzerland's most distinguished foreign policy experts. He is considered the father of the Swiss Abroad ActExternal link, which he led to widespread acceptance in parliament in 2014. Lombardi succeeds Remo Gysin, whom the council appointed honorary president.

"I will defend the interests of the Fifth Switzerland [expatriate Swiss community] boldly and vigorously," Lombardi promised the OSA council. "We have gained a lot of understanding in national politics, but there is still a long way to go before we are truly recognised as Swiss citizens with all our rights and obligations." 

The OSA council also renewed its executive board. The Swiss People’s Party’s domestic seat remains vacant this term. Social Democrat parliamentarian Carlo Sommaruga was newly elected to the executive board.

The OSA represents the interests of the expat Swiss community, which has 776,000 registered members mostly in Europe but also across the globe. 

Adapted from German by Julia Crawford.

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