Georges Clerc

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Georges Clerc (born June 1, 1922 in Friborg ; † November 26, 2012 ) was a Swiss politician and State Chancellor of the Canton of Friborg . He was a member of the Christian Democratic Party.


Catholic , from Vuisternens-devant-Romont , his parents were Albert Clerc and Anne-Marie nee. Gaillard. His father Albert Clerc, Dr. phil. and teacher at the College of St. Michael , dealt with the playwright Barthélemy-Christophe Fagan (1702–1755) in his dissertation. His mother Anne-Marie Gaillard is the daughter of Anselme Gaillard, teacher and accountant in the family-run grocery store on Lausannegasse. Georges Clerc married Anne-Marie Nussbaumer, sister of Lucien Nussbaumer, mayor of Freiburg (1966–1982) and a liberal councilor.

After the Burgschule in Freiburg , Georges Clerc attended the College of St. Michael and passed the Latin- Greek Matura in 1941 . He was a member of the fraternities Nuithonia and Sarinia. He completed his legal studies at the University of Freiburg with a licentiate. After practicing in the law firm of lawyer Aloïs Sallin and as a clerk at the Saane District Court, he obtained his qualification and in 1953 his patent . However, he did not practice the legal profession because he considered it more or less incompatible with his conciliatory character. When the position of adjunct to the State Chancellor was advertised in 1953 , he applied, in his opinion for two years, to see whether he would like the job. After all, he spent the rest of his professional life in the State Chancellery.

In 1953 Georges Clerc was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor and in 1954 Vice Chancellor. From 1954 to 1969 he was Deputy State Chancellor René Binz, with whom he got along well, and second secretary of the Grand Council. In 1955 he attended the summer college in Vienna to improve his German. From 1969 to 1985, Georges Clerc was State Chancellor. On November 28, 1968 , the Grand Council elected him with 121 votes out of 122, and the following day the Liberté highlighted his virtues: "helpfulness, sociability and precision". He conducted his office like a chief of staff who facilitated the work of the cantonal executive. During his 17-year tenure, apart from his daily work, several activities occupied his attention. Since the State Chancellery is the publisher of the official gazette, he made sure that the official texts were not published until the German version was completed in order to take into account the legitimate wishes of the canton's German-speaking minority. He expanded the press conferences set up by his predecessor: one conference took place every week before the State Council meeting, a second before the Grand Council sessions, in the presence of all members of the government, whereby the journalists had access to the texts under discussion and the arguments of the State Council.

Since the State Chancellor is responsible for the protocol, he has to organize the official receptions. The most memorable reception was that for Pope John Paul II in 1984 , but there are also receptions for ambassadors, consuls general and officers commanding Freiburg troops, as well as those for the governments of other cantons at the Les Faverges estate. In connection with the celebrations of 1981 for the 500th anniversary of Friborg joining the Swiss Confederation, Georges Clerc had an additional workload to cope with, starting with the letter of invitation to the federal and cantonal governments, which the Council of State appreciates. Within the organizing committee, he is responsible for the reception on the occasion of the two official festive days. He also dealt with the secular part of the funeral ceremonies of famous people such as Cardinal Charles Journet or Bishop François Charrière.

When asked whether the State Chancellor was the “eighth Council of State”, Georges Clerc replied that discretion (he used the word omerta with humor) was a major virtue. Since the State Chancellor attends the meetings of the government and the Grand Council office, he is up to date on everything that is happening in the canton and he plays an important role as a coordinator between the state executive and legislative branches. In addition, Georges Clerc was a board member of the Swiss Conference of State Scribers, in which he represented French-speaking Switzerland, an interesting experience as you can see how the other cantons are organized in this area.

Georges Clerc inherited the joy of reading from his father. He participated in city life by reading numerous newspapers and magazines. His hobbies included fly fishing and hiking with his children, especially in the Freiburg Pre-Alps. He played the piano, especially jazz improvisations.


  • Georges Andrey, John Clerc, Jean-Pierre Dorand, Nicolas Gex: The Freiburg Council of State: 1848–2011. History, organization, members. Editions La Sarine, Freiburg im Üechtland 2012, ISBN 978-2-88355-153-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. Today the Council of State is sad to note that Georges Clerc, State Chancellor from 1969 to 1985, died at the age of 90. ( Memento of the original from February 3, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Communication from the State of Freiburg dated November 26, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /