Ambassador Johannes Matyassy: Minaret Diplomacy & Challenges for Swiss Public Diplomacy
The USC Center on Public Diplomacy was pleased to host Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, head of public diplomacy at Presence Switzerland.
When Switzerland conducted a referendum on banning minarets, it received massive media coverage worldwide and faced criticism from international organizations, governments and religious leaders, especially from the Muslim world. In response, Switzerland opted for a proactive communication strategy abroad. Soon after the vote, attention shifted from blaming Switzerland to a broader European perspective, addressing general issues related to migration and integration.
Ambassador Johannes Matyassy, head of Switzerland's public diplomacy,spoke about his country's experiences in this case and about lessons learned for public diplomacy in general.