Organization and working methods of the CCG
The Agreement on the Conference of Cantonal Governments of 8 October 1993 provides the legal foundation for the CCG. Its members are the 26 cantonal governments.
The highest decision-making body is the Plenary Assembly, which is held quarterly. All of the cantons are represented by one member of their governments, each of whom has one vote. This Assembly determines the CCG's political agenda. Official statements from the CCG require the approval of 18 cantons. However, the cantons also have a guaranteed right to express differing opinions. The decisions of the CCG are based on decisions taken previously by the full governments of each canton.
The Governing Board, which is the management body of the CCG, consists of nine cantonal government members from all regions who prepare the business of the CCG for the Plenary Assembly.
The Secretariat, which is the office of the CCG, prepares the meetings of political bodies, and implements their decisions.
When dealing with important matters, the CCG establishes political committees and technical working groups. It also sends delegations to national and international bodies.
The CCG fosters cooperation with the federal authorities. Relations with the Federal Council and with both houses of the Swiss parliament are of central importance here. In addition, the CCG has numerous contacts with the federal administration.
The Federal Council is invited to attend the Plenary Assemblies of the CCG. Delegations from the Federal Council and the CCG meet twice a year to discuss matters related to federalism. These meetings are a useful occasion at which to share information and opinions about current issues and ongoing business, as well as policy coordination between the Confederation and cantonal levels. Furthermore, since 2012 there has been regular dialogue on European issues (the "Europe Dialogue").
Cooperation with the federal parliament is of great importance to the CCG. At the hearings held by parliamentary committees, the CCG regularly joins forces with the directors' conferences to represent the cantonal viewpoint. There is also regular exchange with the Council of States about current political issues.