The Organisation of the Swiss Abroad (OSA) is supported by over 750 Swiss expatriates' associations and Swiss institutions all over the world. The OSA is recognised by the authorities as the representative organ of the Fifth Switzerland. It was founded in 1916 by the New Helvetic Society (NHS). With its establishment as a foundation in 1989 it acquired its own legal personality.
Its supreme organ is the Council of the Swiss Abroad (CSA), the 'Parliament of the Fifth Switzerland'. 120 delegates from abroad and 20 delegates from home sit on the council and address all matters arising from policy concerning the Swiss abroad.
The President of the OSA and eight other members of the Council for the Swiss Abroad form the Executive Board. This body prepares Council business and represents the Organisation in external affairs.
The Secretariat for the Swiss Abroad deals with OSA administration. Its staff of 24 ensures that its numerous services are available to all Swiss expatriates.