About us, the Zeit-Fragen (Current Concerns) Cooperative Society

Dear Readers

Zeitfragen (Current Concerns) is an ideologically, politically and financially independent weekly newspaper. We expound backgrounds and contexts that we consider important, in order to contribute to a better understanding of current events in politics, economy, society and culture. We represent values that serve the good of the individual and the peaceful coexistence between all people and we are opposed to manipulation and propaganda of any kind.

Current Concerns sees itself not as a competitor to other newspapers and magazines but as a supplement. We offer a platform to pick up on current events, but also on longer-term developments, and to introduce ethical aspects and stimulate their discussion. We are particularly committed to the policy of peace, to peace education as well as education in general, to the promotion and development of direct democracy and a federal approach. We take pleasure in supporting all pertinent, constructive proposals for solutions. We are also very involved with humane and social economic systems as an alternative to neoliberal globalization.

The german edition Zeit-Fragen has been published since 1993, initially coming out on a monthly basis and since 2000 as a weekly newspaper. Because of our judicious and circumspect development work, we were able to establish ourselves in an environment which is difficult for independent newspapers. Upon the request of English- and French-speaking authors and readers, a French edition and an English one have been published for several years now. An Italian edition comes out four times a year with regard to the Italian-speaking population of Switzerland.

The various editions as well as a book publishing house of the same name are funded by a cooperative society. This legal form was chosen deliberately: The cooperative principles of self-determination, self-government and personal responsibility allow a like for like cooperation between all participants. The fact that Zeit-Fragen has been issued regularly for over 15 years and is financially self-supporting shows that it is still possible to publish a high-quality newspaper on current affairs on a voluntary basis. In order to remain independent, we deliberately refrain from placing product promotion or other commercial advertisements, nor have we any backing by financially strong sponsors. We finance our activities through subscriptions.

Dear readers, we would like to invite you cordially to get to know Zeit-Fragen more closely.

Jean-Paul Vuilleumier, President of the Zeit-Fragen cooperative society

The editorial team of Zeit-Fragen

We have used our newspaper to give ourselves the opportunity and the freedom to take up and discuss all those aspects that are important to us, regardless of financial or party political considerations. The welfare of the individual and the common good always serve as our point of reference.

We consider basic values such as human dignity, human rights and everything mankind has up to now achieved in the form of international law and humanitarian rules, the rule of law and democratic forms of the body politic, prerequisite for living together in freedom and dignity. In corroberation of a comprehensive peace policy, we want to keep bringing all these values back to mind and we stand up for their endorsement and compliance.

We deem direct democracy a positive expression of a civil society in which the individual carries responsibility, participates directly, as an informed and responsible person, in the constructive arrangement of living together and contributes to the common good. Democracy and, more so, direct democracy offers the individual as well as the community excellent opportunities for humane civil solutions to conflicts which impede their leading to violent forms of confrontation.

We thematise tendencies that threaten to question, to endanger or even to ruin these basic values in a correspondingly critical way. These tendencies include economic developments which undermine the prospect of economic development and decent living conditions for many countries in the name of profit maximization and can be summed up by the phrases "globalization" or “neoliberal market economy”. All too often such tendencies also include massive attacks on democracy and state sovereignty and thus on self-determination. This includes war, preparations for war and war propaganda, which are always accompanied by the restriction of civil liberties.

We also take great pleasure in publishing informative and positive contributions, for instance in the fields of economy, culture, pedagogy and education. Erika Vögeli, editor in chief

The editorial team of Horizons et débats

Horizons et débats, the French edition of Zeit-Fragen (Current Concerns), has been published since April 2000, initially with six issues a year. Since January 2007 it has come out weekly. It is mainly addressed to readers in French-speaking Switzerland, in France, and Belgium.  As regards content, Horizons he débats is equal to the German edition of Zeit-Fragen.

Jean-Paul Vuilleumier, editor in chief

The editorial team of Current Concerns

Current Concerns, the English edition of Zeit-Fragen, has been appearing with an initial six issues per year since 1998, monthly since 2007, and biweekly in electronic form since 2011. The reactions we get from our readers from all over the world show their appreciation of our independent information and thorough background analysis as well as for the contributions of authors from foreign countries and regions.

Current Concerns is also actively read at international organizations and institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Despite great historical, cultural and social differences, people all over the world face problems and issues showing clear parallels and deriving from common backgrounds. Our newspaper wants to build bridges from person to person and from continent to continent.

Erika Vögeli, editor in chief

The editorial team of Discorso libero

Discorso líbero is primarily intended for the Italian-speaking part of our country as well as for Italian readers. It appears at least four times a year. Our cooperative society wants to contribute to the promotion of solidarity between the various linguistic and cultural regions of Switzerland.

Rico Calcagnini, editor in chief