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Council for Trade in Services - Special Session - Communication from Switzerland - Education services and the GATS: The Experience of Switzerland
World Trade Organization TN/S/W/39 4 April 2005 (05-1349) Council for Trade in Services Special Session Original: English COMMUNICATION FROM switzerland Education services and the GATS: the Experience of Switzerland The following communication, dated 18 March 2005, from the delegation of Switzerland, is being circulated to the Members of the Council for Trade in Services. _______________ Background Switzerland is a multicultural country, with four national languages within a relatively small territory. Federalism and direct democracy mark its political system, devolving substantial political power to the 26 Cantons and the nearly 3000 municipalities. Therefore, jurisdictions at all levels play a significant role in the Swiss education system: nearly one quarter of the Cantons' and municipalities' budget is spent on education. In the year 2000, public spending on education reached 22 billion Swiss francs or 5.4 per cent of Switzerland's GDP (