Switzerland

Article

January 21, 2022

Switzerland (Lat. Helvetica, German: Schweiz, Italian: Svizzera, French: Suisse, Romanian: Svizra), officially the Swiss Confederation (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica, German: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Italian: Confederazione Svizzera, French: Confsera Svizra), is a federal parliamentary republic in Central and Western Europe. It consists of 26 cantons and the city of Bern, which is the seat of the federal government, covers an area of ​​41,285 km2, the continental state is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss plateau and the Jura. Although the Alps cover most of the territory, approximately 8 million Swiss inhabitants are mostly concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are located: among them are two global cities and the economic centers of Zurich and Geneva. Switzerland is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. The old Swiss confederation was founded in the late Middle Ages, and the reason was a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Switzerland's independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a long history of military neutrality since the Reformation period; the country has not been at war since 1815 and did not join the United Nations until 2002. Nevertheless, the country pursues an active foreign policy and is often involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to many international organizations, including the second largest UN office. At European level, it is one of the founders of the European Free Trade Association, but is not a member of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen area and the European single market through bilateral agreements. Located at the crossroads of German and Romance Europe, Switzerland encompasses four main linguistic and cultural areas: German, French, Italian and Romance. Although the majority of the population speaks German, the Swiss national identity draws its roots from a common historical background, sharing values ​​such as federalism and immediate democracy and Alpine symbolism. On coins and postage stamps, the Latin name (often abbreviated as Helvetia) is used instead

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