The Swiss Federal Council (in German: Bundesrat, in French: Conseil fédéral, in Italian: Consiglio federale, in Romansh: Cussegl Federal) is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the government of Switzerland, as well as assuming functions corresponding to those of the head of state of other nations.
Each of the seven Federal Councillors heads a department. Following the elections of 10 December 2003, they are:
One of the seven is elected to be president of the Federal Council (President of the Confederation) for a term of one year: he or she has no power above and beyond the other six, but assumes special representative functions ("primus inter pares"). The president of the confederation is thus not in the position of a head of state, though he or she may act and be recognized as one welcoming visiting heads of state of foreign nations. Official visits abroad are usually carried out by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.