This article throws light upon the forty federal powers of the Swiss federation. Some of the federal powers are: 1. Foreign Relations 2. Use of Army 3. Army Service Tax 4. Organisation of Military 5. Civil Defence 6. Professional Educational Universities 7. Scientific Research 8. Data Statistics 9. Support for Education 10. Sports and Others.
Federal Power # 1. Foreign Relations:
Foreign relations are a federal matter (Article 54). However, the Cantons enjoy the right to participate in decisions of foreign policy which concern their powers or essential interests. The Federation keeps the Cantons informed and consults them from time to time.
Federal Power # 2. Use of Army:
The use of army is a federal subject. Now the constitution provides that Switzerland has as an army.
Federal Power # 3. Army Service Tax:
Every Swiss man has to render military service or an alternative service in lieu of it. In case he fails to do it, he is required to pay a service tax. This tax is levied by the Federation but collected by the Cantons.
Federal Power # 4. Organisation of Military:
Organisation, training and equipment of army is a Federal Subject.
Federal Power # 5. Civil Defence:
Legislation on Civil Defence is a federal subject.
Federal Power # 6. Professional Educational Universities:
The Federation legislates on professional educational universities and technical universities.
Federal Power # 7. Scientific Research:
The Federation has the responsibility to encourage, support and coordinate scientific research. It may take-over and operate research institutions.
Federal Power # 8. Data Statistics:
The Federation collects all necessary data on status and evolution of population.
Federal Power # 9. Support for Education:
The Federation grants subsidies to the Cantons for assisting the spread of education If provides help to the Cantons for the education development and protection of young people and adults.
Federal Power # 10. Sports:
The Federation has the responsibility to promote sports and sports education.
Federal Power # 11. Films:
The Federation stands assigned the responsibility to encourage film production and film culture. It can legislate for this purpose.
Federal Power # 12. Protection of Environment:
Article 74 makes it the power of the Federation to legislate on the protection of man and natural environment. It can make suitable regulations for securing this objective.
Federal Power # 13. Zoning:
The Federation can establish principles for organizing the Cantons into zones.
Federal Power # 14. Water Conservation:
The Federation is to ensure the moderate use and protection of water resources.
Federal Power # 15. Forest Conservation:
The Federation is to ensure the forests may fulfil their productive, economic and social functions. For this purpose, the Federation can pass appropriate and necessary legislation.
Federal Power # 16. Fisheries and Hunting:
The Federation has the power to regulate fishing and hunting in particular for preserving the multiplicity of fish, game and birds.
Federal Power # 17. Protection of Animals:
The Federation can legislate for ensuring protection of animals.
Federal Power # 18. Public Works:
In the interest of the whole of Switzerland or its large part, the Federation can build and operate public works.
Federal Power # 19. Road Traffic:
The Federation regulates Road Traffic. (Article 82)
Federal Power # 20. National Traffic:
Under Article 83, the Federation has the power to construct a network of highways and to plan their utilization.
Federal Power # 21. Protection of Alpine Transit:
The Federation has the power to protect the Alpine regions from harmful/negative effects of transit traffic.
Federal Power # 22. Charges on Heavy Goods Traffic:
The Federation has the power to levy a charge on heavy goods traffic related to motor power. It can levy motor fuel consumption tax and other traffic charges for covering the costs.
Federal Power # 23. Regulation of Rail Traffic, Other Means of Traffic, Footpaths and Hiking Trails:
The Federation enjoys the power to legislate for regulating rail traffic, cable cars, navigation, aviation, space travel, foot-paths and hiking tracks.
Federal Power # 24. Energy Policy, Nuclear Energy and Transportation of Energy:
All these subjects fall within the legislative competence of the Federation.
Federal Power # 25. Postal and Tele-communication Service, Radio and Television:
All these subjects stand included in the list of Federal subjects. The Federation can legislate on all these subjects.
Federal Power # 26. Federal Power to Regulate Private Economic Activity, Competition Policy Consumer Protection, Monetary Policy, Economic Development and Foreign Trade:
The Federation has the power to legislate on all these subjects.
Federal Power # 27. Supply of Essential Goods and Service:
It is the responsibility of the Federation to ensure the supply of all essential goods and services to the people, particularly in times of external threats, economic war and shortages.
Federal Power # 28. Protection of Economically Threatened Regions:
The Federation has the responsibility for the protection of special economic regions.
Federal Power # 29. Development of Agriculture and Conservation and Optimum use of Agricultural Resources of the Country:
The Federation has the power to ensure that agriculture should remain productive and healthy.
Federal Power # 30. Alcohol and Gambling:
Articles 105 and 106 declare that the legislation on the production, import and refining and sale of alcohol is a federal subject: Likewise the Federation has the power to regulate by law gambling and lotteries.
Federal Power # 31. Weapons and Military Material:
The power to legislate on the production, acquisition, distribution importation, exportation and transit of military material belongs to the Federation. It also legislates for the prevention of misuse of weapons, associated equipment and ammunition.
Federal Power # 32. Promotion of Construction and Ownership of Housing:
The Federation has the function of encouraging the construction and the ownership of housing for private persons own use. It is to provoke the acquisition and development of land, the efficiency of construction and reduction of housing costs.
Federal Power # 33. Regulation of Relations Between Landlords and Tenants:
The power to regulate against possible abuses in the field of landlord-tenant relationship is in the hands of the Federation.
Federal Power # 34. Labour:
The Federation can legislate on the issue of protection of employers, employer-employee relations, placement services, labour contracts, and collective labour contracts.
Federal Power # 35. Social Security:
It is the function of the Federation to take measures for providing social security to elders, survivors and disabled persons. It regulates social security insurance and employees pension. To legislate on unemployment insurance, compensations for loss of work, maternity insurance, protection of family health insurance, accident assurance is also a federal subject.
Federal Power # 36. Medical Assistance to Procreation and Gene Technology to Human Field:
The Federation can regulate by law the issue of use of human reproductive and genetic material. It is to ensure protection against abuse of medically assisted procreation and gene technology.
Federal Power # 37. Residence and Domicile of Foreigners:
Article 121 of the Constitution empowers the Federation to regulate by legislation the subject of immigration, emigration, residence and domicile of foreigners and grant of asylum to foreigners. It can order the removal by force of such foreigners as can endanger the security of Switzerland.
Federal Power # 38. Civil and Criminal Procedures and Weights and Measures:
The Federation enjoys the power to regulate these subjects. It can pass necessary legislation for this purpose.
Federal Power # 39. Power of Tax, Harmonization of Taxes, Introduction of VAT, Imposition of Consumption Tax, Stamp Tax and Customs Duties:
The Federation has power to impose direct taxes like income tax. It has the power to secure a balance and harmony in the taxes imposed by the Federation, Cantons and Municipalities.
Federal Power # 40. Power to secure Financial Equalization:
The Constitution under its Article 135 makes it the responsibility of the Federation to provoke Financial equalization among the Cantons. When granting subsidies to the Cantons, it is required to keep in view the financial capacities of the Cantons as well as their special situations in the mountainous regions.