Article published in the info letter May 2022.
… originally comes from Schaan in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
... has served as Ambassador in Bern since 2013. In the 16 years prior to that, from 1997 to 2013, she was simultaneously the Deputy Ambassador at the Liechtenstein Embassy in Bern and at the Liechtenstein Permanent Mission in Geneva.
… likes cosy and entertaining evenings with family and friends. For her, cycling on Bern's bridges is one of the most beautiful activities in the federal city.
10 Questions to Doris Frick
What does a normal working day look like?
My responsibilities include nurturing the political, economic, cultural and social relationships with Switzerland. Liechtenstein and Switzerland are linked by more than 110 agreements covering almost all aspects of life. We are continuously involved in one or the other of the bilateral agreements. Changing needs, but also new international rules and national developments, require regular adjustments to the agreements.
There are also many meetings between Liechtenstein and Switzerland at ministerial or civil service level as well as meetings between parliamentary delegations. One of my responsibilities is the maintenance of relationships with other countries' embassies here in Bern. Most of these embassies are also accredited to Liechtenstein and therefore my contacts with them are many and frequent.
Which projects are you most excited about right now?
2023 will see the centenary of the Customs Treaty between Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This treaty formed the foundation stone for today’s close cooperation between our two countries. We are planning a number of celebrations for official representatives and also for the general public – a project that will take up a lot of my time over the next few months.
What do you appreciate about Bern?
Bern's old town is incredibly beautiful – even after 25 years I never cease to be amazed by it. A further plus is that Bern is surrounded by charming locations with gorgeous views. Gerzensee, with its lake and uninterrupted view of the Alps, is number one when it comes to a place to visit outside Bern.
Tell us about your favourite place in Bern.
I enjoy nothing more than to ride my bike over the Kirchenfeld, Kornhaus and Monbijou bridges. The view from these bridges towards the old town is pure enjoyment.
Cheese or chocolate? Albert Einstein or Paul Klee? Bear or beer? Hiking or skiing?
- Cheese (particularly Raclette);
- Paul Klee, as I am an art-lover. The museum landscape in Bern has a lot to offer, creates variety and shows exhibitions at the highest level;
- Drinking beer in the evenings with friends;
- Hiking AND skiing, depending on the time of year. I grew up in the mountains, and mountains are my source of energy.
Which was one of the most significant encounters during your stay in Switzerland?
In 2019 the Federal Council invited Liechtenstein for a two-days state visit to Switzerland. It is very clear to me that this event forms one of the highlights of my 30 year career as a diplomat. The visit was brought to a close by a tour of the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and Nestlé. These two days of visits provided me with no end of insights into Swiss politics, research and business.
What is still on your “to-do list”?
Swimming in the Aare a second time. In all the years I have spent in Bern I have only been swimming in the river once – and that was when the river was in flood, probably not the best time to make a start.
What do you already know you will miss when you leave Bern?
Going shopping in Bern. The shopping environment is incomparable.
Do you know words in Swiss German and if yes, which is your favourite one?
Assuming that the Liechtenstein dialect is understood by everyone here, I do not use Swiss German words. But sometimes I am not so sure about this as people frequently reply to me in standard German if I ask them a question in my dialect.
What advice do you have for newcomers to Bern?
I would start with a guided tour of the history and archaeology of Bern. It was only after a tour of this nature with PD Dr. Armand Baeriswyl who works for the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern that I started to understand something of the city. As a result of this tour, I now see Bern through totally different eyes. I have also joined many other worthwhile tours of the city focussing on different subjects (e.g. political parties in Switzerland, women in Bern ...).
Who would you like to hear from in the next info letter?
Michael Flügger, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Michael Flügger, Embassy of the Federal Republic of GermanyThe Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Michael Flügger, would like to travel to all the places Goethe has already visited in Switzerland. Read his portrait to find out which city tour fascinated him and which canton is engraved in his heart.Michael Flügger, Embassy of the Federal Republic of GermanyMore