The identity crisis took on a new dimension with the international debate about looted gold and “dormant assets” in Switzerland, which from 1995 onwards also tarnished international reputation and, in particular, relations with the USA. In connection with this, Switzerland set up the “Swiss Foundation for Solidarity” in 1997 from the interest on revaluation gains from the National Bank. For needy Holocaust survivors the private foundation “Fund for Humanity”, supported by the National Bank, the banks and the Swiss economy, was created. In order to further research the role of Swiss and German (large) banks in the Holocaust and the war, as well as Switzerland’s refugee policy, an »Independent Expert Commission« consisting of national and international historians was set up by Parliament in December 1996, chaired by Jean-François Bergier (* 1931, † 2009) formed (UEK, also known as the »Bergier Commission«; dissolved at the end of 2001, final report presented in March 2002); to support them, the 1934 provisions on Swiss banking secrecy were partially repealed.
In January 1998, deliberations on constitutional reform began in the National Council and Council of States. After the adoption of the 1995 draft constitution in a revised form by the Council of States on April 30, 1998, a referendum in April 1999 decided on its adoption; it came into force on January 1, 2000. Despite attacks from the strengthened SVP, the government coalition continued after the 1999 National Council elections based on the »magic formula«. Reinforced by the economic stagnation in the 1990s, a reform backlog became visible in Switzerland (above all social, labor market and health policy). After the National Council elections on October 19, 2003, the SVP, with 27% of the votes now stronger than any other party after 1945, vigorously sought the second seat in the Federal Council, to the C. Blocher - was chosen under the redefinition of the »magic formula « at the expense of the CVP; For the first time, a Federal Councilor was voted out of office (Ruth Metzler-Arnold [* 1964]). In 2005, the Federal Council approved plans to convert the army. As a result, space security, anti-terrorism measures and peacebuilding were given new weight. In the same year, a referendum approved the introduction of registered partnerships for same-sex couples. In February 2020, the majority voted for a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation. With 67.8%, the voters approved a tightening of the asylum law on September 24, 2006.
In the National Council elections on October 21, 2007, the SVP was able to further increase its share – also through an election campaign that was strongly tailored to Blocher – and achieved 28.9% of the votes and an increase from 7 seats to 62 seats. During the election campaign, which was unusually emotionally charged by Swiss standards, a xenophobic SVP poster triggered severe criticism, which turned into violent protests on October 8, 2007 in Bern. After the Federal Assembly did not confirm the previous SVP Federal Councilor Blocher in office on December 12, 2007 and instead elected SVP politician E. Widmer-Schlumpf as Federal Councilor, the SVP parliamentary group terminated its participation in the government. The SVP Federal Councilors S. Schmid and Widmer-Schlumpf were expelled from the parliamentary group. This development led to the split in the SVP in June 2008. Because the Cantonal Party of Graubünden refused to expel its member Widmer-Schlumpf, it had to leave the Federal Association of SVP after a decision by the central board of June 1, 2008. The breakaway regional association was joined by other SVP members from Bern and Glarus, who launched the Civil Democratic Party (BDP) on November 1, 2008. With the former SVP member S. Schmid, the BDP provided another federal councilor. After arguments about his position in the Federal Council and criticism of his behavior in an affair involving the army chief, Schmid resigned resigned in November 2008 at the end of the year. On December 10th, 2008 the Federal Assembly elected U. Maurer as his successor. With this, the SVP returned to government responsibility.
Against the background of the global economic and financial market crisis, the government was forced to take numerous economic policy measures in 2008/09. B. the major bank UBS get state help. In addition, the Federal Council launched extensive economic stimulus packages. After a first economic stimulus package in November 2008, the Federal Council launched a second expenditure program of CHF 700 million on February 11, 2009 in order to include support the construction industry as well as environmental and energy projects; At the same time, the receipt of short-time allowance was extended from twelve to 18 months. A third stimulus package at the end of September 2009 cleared the parliamentary hurdles. Nonetheless, in 2009 the country slid into the deepest recession since the 1970s. In a referendum supported by the SVP, a majority of voters on November 29, 2009 voted for a ban on the construction of further minarets in Switzerland. The other parties, the Federal Council, Business associations and trade unions had opposed the minaret initiative. Swiss politicians and business representatives feared negative consequences for Switzerland’s position in the world. In 2010, the SVP was also successful with an initiative to tighten the law on foreigners in a referendum. According to ehistorylib, foreigners living in Switzerland should lose their right of residence if they are convicted of certain criminal offenses. In the course of the euro debt crisis, more investments were made in the Swiss franc, which significantly strengthened its exchange rate. In August 2011, the franc briefly reached parity with the euro. The strong speculation in the Swiss franc prompted the Swiss National Bank at the beginning of September 2011 to set a minimum exchange rate between the franc and the euro at CHF 1.20. In the course of the euro debt crisis, more investments were made in the Swiss franc, which significantly strengthened its exchange rate. In August 2011, the franc briefly reached parity with the euro. The strong speculation in the Swiss franc prompted the Swiss National Bank at the beginning of September 2011 to set a minimum exchange rate between the franc and the euro at CHF 1.20.