“Renationalization and isolationism are the wrong path for our highly connected country. Openness is one of the cornerstones of prosperity, so Switzerland needs preferential trade relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.”
“Avenir Suisse didn’t just adopt freedom as a key tenet with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In our freedom index we reveal and compare the consequences of limiting freedom in the cantons every year.”
“The pandemic showed how important it is to have open borders. Our publication on the free movement of persons demonstrates that this doesn’t just apply on a personal level, but also for the prosperity of Switzerland.”
“From quarantine and debt to the independence of the SNB, the Covid-19 pandemic has raised many questions. In various publications we have come up with new answers.”
“Stimulus packages are staging an international comeback in the wake of coronavirus. But past experience has shown that this type of program is generally of only very limited use.”
“The digital infrastructure is increasingly becoming the backbone of our society. In our publication on 5G we therefore came out firmly in favor of a high-performance mobile infrastructure.”
“The pandemic has had consequences for all forms of social insurance: on the expenditure side because of death, (mental) illness, and unemployment, and on the income side because of lower employee contributions and tax revenues.”
“An effective prevention policy has to take account of the impact of noncommunicable diseases on the healthcare system without degenerating into paternalism. Companies have an essential role to play.”
“Closing borders not only fails to provide more protection, but it jeopardizes our societies and labor markets, as closely bound up as they are with those of our European neighbors.”
“A tiny virus has ruthlessly exposed the vulnerability of our privileged society. Avenir Suisse has produced diverse fact-based analyses to show ways of overcoming the crisis.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has again raised the question of where the real threats lie, also in Switzerland. These days the main risks are posed by cyber and terror threats, power shortages, and epidemics.”
“Distributing migrants on the basis of data and involving the private sectors in assessing potential represent major opportunities in terms of workforce integration.”
“We develop strategies for a functioning labor market, more effective integration of women in the workplace, a sustainable social partnership, and a modern and innovative education system.”
“Our publication on family taxation shows that individual taxation increases the incentives for married women to work significantly more than models based on a joint assessment.”
“A flexible education system isn’t just a prerequisite for a prospering labor market, but also facilitates social mobility.”
“The coronavirus gave both young and old a digital boost. Our mobile game ‘Democratia – the Isle of Five’ is an opportunity for anyone interested to experience Switzerland’s direct democracy in a fun and playful way.”
“During the coronavirus pandemic we’ve been able to substantially step up our presence both on digital channels and in the print, radio, and TV media.”
“We’re constantly extending our range of communication channels in an attempt to get the insights from our research to as wide an audience as possible. We love meticulously produced books just as much as addressing our audience directly via electronic media.”
“The digital media have increased the possibilities for visual communication enormously. Designing short text formats, videos, and graphics requires just as much care as traditional books.”
The 2020 financial year saw a year-on-year decline in infrastructure and operating expenses despite considerable additional spending on IT to ensure smooth teamwork while people worked from home. At the same time there was a decline in expenses for events and investor relations, likewise a result of the pandemic. Personnel expense was 2.3 percent up on 2019 because of slightly higher staff turnover. Overall we kept to our CHF 5.5 million budget.
Unlike many other sectors of the economy, the pandemic did not slow Avenir Suisse’s research work. On the contrary: numerous publications resulted, for example, in a 24 percent year-on-year increase in page views and 9.6 percent growth in the number of newsletter subscribers. The mobile game Democratia, designed as a playful, digital way for a younger audience to experience Switzerland’s political system, turned out to be a great hit with the public. By the end of the year the game had been downloaded from the app stores more than 44,336 times.
The Support Foundation is charged with securing sustained funding for Avenir Suisse by way of active fundraising. In the year under review 10 new donors were acquired, and 46 existing donors declared their willingness to renew their commitment when it came up. The donors (members of the support group) support the think tank through substantial one-time or recurrent contributions, generally paid over three to five years. Unfortunately both the big donor events, the annual dinner and the fall conference, had to be canceled at short notice because of the coronavirus pandemic.