Chronology of Expo.01/02

The chronology of the 6th National Exhibition can be delineated into very different phases of Expo.01/02. 

The simplest division of the chronology is into the following 3 phases: 

Preliminary phase
Years up to 1996: from the first discussions about a new national exhibition to the federal decision on a contribution to the 2001 national exhibition in December 1996.

Expo.01 phase
Years 1997-1999: from the presentation of the Three Lakes Project to the public to the federal decision on CHF 250 million for Expo.02 in December 1999.

Expo.02 phase
Years 2000-2003: from the submission of the feasibility report for Expo.02 to the Federal Council to the dismantling of Expo.02, which took place mainly in 2003.

Chronology

1964

 

In their final report, the organisers of Expo 64 express the wish that the next edition should coincide with the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation.

1977

 

The Conference of the Cantons of Central Switzerland sets up a committee for a national exhibition to celebrate the 700th anniversary.

12.12.1984

 

Establishment of the CH-91 Foundation by the Central Swiss cantons of Uri, Schwyz, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Lucerne and Zug together with the Confederation. The main objective of the foundation was to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation in 1991 with a national exhibition in Central Switzerland.

05.05.1985

 

Negative referendum in the canton of Lucerne on the planned CH-91.

26.04.1987

 

Negative referenda in the central Swiss cantons on the planned CH-91.

06.1987

 

The Federal Council determines that no National Exhibition can take place in 1991.

01.06.1988

 

Federal Council message on the 700th anniversary: a national exhibition is to be held in Ticino in the anniversary year 1998 (150 years of the federal state).

End 1989

 

The Ticino government commissions a study on the feasibility of a national exhibition in Ticino in 1998. After the study was completed, Ticino decided not to apply.

05.-09.1993

 

After Geneva, the Valais, and suddenly the Ticino again, and finally Neuchâtel, signalled their interest in an Expo in 1998. The Valais finally withdrew because of its Olympic candidacy, while Berne and Fribourg joined the Neuchâtel project.

10.1993

 

The parliament's conciliation committees propose the organisation of a national exhibition in 2000.

03.1994

 

The National Council passes a motion instructing the Federal Council to take charge of the organisation of a national exhibition and to submit a corresponding proposal to the Councils.

20.05.1994

 

Constitutive meeting of the bid committee for the Neuchâtel project.

13.06.1994

 

The Federal Council decides to hold a national exhibition in 2001, separate from the 1998 celebrations of Helvetia and the Jubilee of the Swiss Confederation. The Federal Department of Economic Affairs is given the lead.

21.06.1994

 

The cantons of Neuchâtel, Bern, Fribourg, Solothurn, Vaud and Jura as well as the cities of Biel-Bienne, Grenchen, Murten, Neuchâtel, Solothurn and Yverdon-les-Bains submit their candidature.

12.12.1994

 

The canton and city of Solothurn and Grenchen withdraw from the project.

22.12.1994

 

The Federal Council cannot decide on a project and postpones the decision.

18.01.1995

 

The Federal Council in corpore receives representatives of all three initiative committees.

30.01.1995

 

At the request of the FDEA, the Federal Council decides in favour of the Expo in the Three Lakes Region at the southern foot of the Jura. It prefers this project to the proposals from Geneva and Ticino and instructs the bid committee to have a feasibility study carried out. In addition, it establishes the Interdepartmental Coordination Group (GIC).

14.03.1995

 

The bid committee forms the National Exhibition Association, which is chaired by Neuchâtel State Councillor Francis Matthey. Its strategic body is called the Comité Stratégique and consists of 18 members. The office of the Comité Stratégique comprises 5 people.

03.1995

 

The Comité Stratégique commissions Rudolf Burkhalter (Aarprojekt) and Paolo Ugolini (Steiner Engineering) to prepare a feasibility study.

09.1995

 

The head of the FDEA appoints his personal assistant, Daniel Margot, as the Federal Council's delegate for the National Exhibition.

13.02.1996

 

Presentation of the project at a press conference attended by Federal Councillor Jean-Pascal Delamuraz.

02.03.1996

 

Appointment to the offices of the National Exhibition Association (Comité Stratégique, Assemblé Générale).

18.03.1996

 

The Federal Council commissions the National Exhibition Association to organise a national exhibition for Expo.01.

01.04.1996

 

The National Exhibition Association revises its statutes and renames itself the Expo 2001 Association.

22.05.1996

 

Federal Council Dispatch (Federal contribution of CHF 130 million)

06.09.1996

 

Supplementary report to the Federal Council Dispatch of 22.05.1996

05.11.1996

 

2nd Supplementary Report to the Federal Council Dispatch of 22.05.1996

28.11.1996

 

The Association adopts new statutes, which come into force on 01.01.1997.

01.12.1996

 

Referendum in the city of Biel on financial participation in Expo 2001.

10.12.1996

 

Federal decision on the contribution of CHF 130 million to the National Exhibition 2001 (the feasibility study had assumed a federal contribution of CHF 170 million). After the Council of States, the National Council also approves the credit for Expo 2001 by 126 votes to 25.

31.12.1996

 

Election of the federal representatives to the Comité Strategique

03.03.1997

 

Jacqueline Fendt is elected Directrice Générale of Expo 2001 by the Comité Strategique.

21.03.1997

 

Rudolf Burkhalter (Direction Finances, which also included Transport, Environment, Procedures and Tourism) and Paolo Ugolini (Direction Technique, which also included Security and Logistics) and Sécretaire Générale Alain Becker take office.

04.1997

 

Launch of the participation campaign.

25.05.1997

 

The first Expo website goes online.

01.08.1997

 

Pipilotti Rist is introduced to the public as Directrice Artistique of Expo 2001.

01.1998

 

Expo 2001 is renamed Expo.01.

01.04.1998

 

Federal Councillor Couchepin takes over the FDEA from Federal Councillor Delamuraz.

01.04.1998

 

Contract with the delegate of the Federal Council, Daniel Margot.

05.1998

 

lnternational architectural competition for the Arteplages is launched (in which no established representatives from Switzerland subsequently participate).

05.05.1998

 

Federal Councillor Couchepin meets those responsible for the Expo.01 in Neuchâtel.

15.06.1998

 

The Federal Council approves the federal projects.

17.06.1998

 

The Comité Stratégique approves the preliminary project of 29.04.1998.

01.07.1998

 

The office of the Comité Stratégique invites the Direction Générale and the other directorates to a discussion in Murten.

09.1998

 

Adjusted design and architecture tender for the Arteplages by Ruedi Rast.

11.09.1998

 

Aloys Hirzel takes over as Directeur Marketing (communication was still integrated in this Directorate).

14.10.1998

 

The Directeur Technique Paolo Ugolini resigns.

11.1998

 

Budget 8

18.12.1998

 

The Directrice Artistique Pipilotti Rist resigns.

01.1999

 

Federal Council appoints delegation of three (Couchepin, Ogi, Leuenberger).

22.01.1999

 

Federal Council meets with Expo.01 management.

26.01.1999

 

The Comité Strategique appoints Nelly Wenger as Directrice Technique and Martin Heller as Directeur Artistique.

02.1999

 

Decision of the jury in the design and architecture tender for the Arteplages.

05.03.1999

 

Publication of Review of overall project controlling by PriceWaterCooper.

03.1999

 

Start of construction

22.04.1999

 

Delegation of three members of the Federal Council meets with representatives of the Comité Strategique and the Direction Générale Expo.01 .

22.06.1999

 

Delegation of three members of the Federal Council meets again with the Direction Générale Expo.01.

26.06.1999

 

The first cut of the spade is celebrated.

06.1999

 

Budget 10

07.1999

 

The four heads of the Arteplage are appointed.

05.08.1999

 

The Directrice Générale Jacqueline Fendt is dismissed by the Comité Strategique, after the four directors had expressed their lack of confidence in her the day before due to an acute crisis of leadership and trust. Nelly Wenger, Directrice Technique, takes over ad interim.

08.08.1999

 

Message for a supplementary credit

11.08.1999

 

Establishment of the lDA Expo.01 (Interdepartmental Working Group on Expo.01) by the Federal Council. The IDA Expo.01 had the task of accompanying the work of the company Hayek Engineering AG and to show the Federal Council various options for action with regard to the national exhibition and to prepare a message for a supplementary credit from the Confederation. It reviewed the organisational structure of the Expo 2001 Association and the federal projects.

16.08.1999

 

Top-level meeting Federal Council / Economy / Expo.01 management in Murten-Morat.

27.08.1999

 

Credit Suisse makes CHF 10 million available to the National Exhibition to bridge a liquidity bottleneck that would otherwise have led to the cessation of work.

27.08.1999

 

Revision of the association's statutes

08.1999

 

Resignation of Kurt Aeschbacher as chairman of the jury of the participatory campaign.

09.1999

 

Stop of construction work leads to a loss of motivation.

23.09.1999

 

In the expert report provided free of charge by Hayek Engineering, Nicolas Hayek believes that it is possible to hold Expo.01 on schedule - if the management is changed and extreme efforts are made. Moreover, the national exhibition will cost between CHF 380 and 550 million more than assumed.

27.09.1999

 

Alois Hirzel and Rudolf Burkhalter resign; the Direction Générale now has only two members, Nelly Wenger and Martin Heller.

29.09.1999

 

The Comité Stratégique of Expo.01 hands over power to the newly created Comité Directeur. Its members will not sit on this new body.

30.09.1999

 

The Departement Partenariat is attached to the Direction Artistique.

04.10.1999

 

The Federal Council postpones the National Exhibition by one year to 2002. It also proposes a supplementary Expo credit of CHF 250 million to Parliament.

07.10.1999

 

The President of the Direction Générale ad interim creates a new organisation with 16 task forces.

15.10.1999

 

ln Neuchâtel, the Expo-02-Comité Directeur is officially launched. FDP President and National Councillor Franz Steinegger is President and representative of the Confederation; other members are Alois Sonnenmoser, Riccardo Gullotti and the former cantonal councillors Peter Schmid (Bern, SVP) and Pierre Dubois (Neuchâtel, SP). Amendment of the Statutes.

20.10.1999

 

The Comité Directeur takes up its work; the former Strategic Committee becomes the Assemblé Générale.

04.11.1999

 

The major bank Credit Suisse makes its head of staff, Rolf Dörig, available to Expo.02 as Directeur Finances for three months.

05.11.1999

 

The Environment, Energy, Transport group (consultative body) will be dissolved.

17.11.1999

 

According to Steinegger, CHF 300 million must be raised and another CHF 290 million must be saved.

29.11.1999

 

Amendment of the Articles of Association

01.11.1999

 

Rainer Müller to head the Direction Marketing ad interim

16.12.1999

 

In the winter session, the National Council and the Council of States approve a further CHF 250 million for Expo.02 (with certain conditions).

12.1999

 

The lDA Expo.01 completes its mandate

11.+14.12.1999

 

The results of the 16 task forces are available. The publications Expo.02 - Part A: Optimal project and concept and Expo.02 - Part B: Advice on "no limits" scenarios appear.

19.01.2000

 

The Federal Council approves the budget rupture of CHF 1.4 billion. which does not contain any reserves.

20.01.2000

 

Publication of the Rapport au Conseil fédéral. In its feasibility report, the Expo management declares Expo.02 to be feasible, but demands a deficit guarantee of CHF 320 million from the Confederation and the cantons.

26.01.2000

 

Credit release (CHF 250 million) by the Federal Council, although the conditions were only partially fulfilled.

02.02.2000

 

New appointments to the Direction Générale: Nelly Wenger Directrice Générale, Martin Heller, Directeur Artistique, Walter Häusermann. Directeur Finances, Rainer Müller Directeur Marketing,

11.02.2000

 

After a five-month interruption, construction work on the Arteplages continues.

23.02.2000

 

Federal decision on deficit guarantee of CHF 338 million.

29.02.2000

 

Appointment of Tony Burgener as Responsable of the Department Information/Relations Publiques

02.2000

 

The Direction Générale decides to create an internal legal service.

01.03.2000

 

Start-up Strategic Controlling,

06.03.2000

 

Ruedi Rast takes over as Directeur Technique.

06.03.2000

 

The Direction Exploitation is created.

09.03.2000

 

Two 50 m long metal support piles on the Arteplage Neuchâtel break and sink. This construction failure, for which Expo.02 is not responsible, has a drastic effect on further work.

03.2000

 

The Partner Presentation Programme (PPP) for sponsors is developed.

03.-05.2000

 

Design of the organisation of Expo.02. Development of a new macro-structure.

17.04.2000

 

The contract with the delegate of the Federal Council, Daniel Margot, is terminated prematurely as of 30.06.2000.

15.05.2000

 

Expo.02 is back on track, announces Nelly Wenger, Director General.

14.06.2000

 

1st quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

16.06.2000

 

After the Council of States, the National Council also approves a deficit guarantee of CHF 338 million. With a budget of CHF 1.4 billion, the Confederation's total commitment amounts to around CHF 700 million.

30.06.2000

 

GPK of the Council of States decides on an investigation.

06.2000

 

According to an opinion poll, only just under half of the Swiss population has a positive image of Expo.02, while at the same time 9 out of 10 respondents expressed high expectations.

07.2000

 

Introduction of the Pilotage opérationnel department.

07.2000

 

Review of liquidity planning reveals insufficient coverage of CHF 220 to 260 million.

08.2000

 

Publication of the Overall evaluation of the project.

26.08.2000

 

Publication of 159 jours côté Suisse.

01.09.2000

 

2nd quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

10.10.2000

 

Construction work also begins in Murten as the last location.

12.10.2000

 

With the election of the Directeur Exploitation, Frédéric Hohl, the Direction Générale is complete. It also consists of Nelly Wenger (Directrice Générale), Walter Häusermann (Directeur Finances), Martin Heller (Directeur Artistique), Rainer Müller (Directeur Marketing), Ruedi Rast (Directeur Technique).

30.11.2000

 

3rd quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

19.12.2000

 

The Steering Committee adopts a basic project with 37 exhibitions - 11 fewer than planned.

23.01.2001

 

The Direction Partenariat is founded, René Stambach becomes Director. Event sponsorship is transferred to this Directorate (until then it had been independent of the Direction Events).

23.02.2001

 

After several sponsors such as Orange, Diax/Sunrise and Swissair withdraw, the banks agree to provide CHF 150 to 160 million in liquidity until the end of June.

02.2001

 

Start of ticket sales via indirect channels

28.02.2001

 

4th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

27.03.2001

 

Report of the CPC of the Council of States entitled Probleme bei der Vorbereitung und Organisation der Landesausstellung 2001 (Expo.01).

04.04.2001

 

The Federal Council in corpore attends a presentation by the Direction Générale on the content of Expo.02.

04.2001

 

The site visits project is launched (for the local population and future visitors).

14.05.2001

 

One year before the opening of the national exhibition, the Directrice Générale Nelly Wenger launches the public campaign.

19./20.05.2001

 

Open days on the four Arteplages with 66,000 visitors.

28.05.2001

 

5th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

05.2001

 

As a result of the slow receipt of sponsoring contributions, a shortfall of CHF 20 to 40 million is expected for June.

13.06.2001

 

Following the Council of States, the National Council also converts CHF 300 million of the federal deficit guarantee into a loan.

06.2001

 

Damage to the floors of the Neuchâtel and Biel-Bienne platforms.

07.2001

 

Jean-François Roth, member of the Council of States for the Jura, becomes an ambassador for Expo.02.

09.07.2001

 

The events are merged into a separate Direction Event headed by Daniel Rossellat.

21.08.2001

 

6th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

09.2001

 

Pilotage operationnel carries out a general review of the project.

10.10.2001

 

Publication of the 1st issue of the Expo magazine 02.News.

11.10.2001

 

Expo ticket sales begin at the Olma in St. Gallen.

16.10.2001

 

The Comité Directeur puts together a new savings package of CHF 40 million in view of the lack of sponsor contributions.

08.2001

 

The VIP project is cancelled for financial reasons; the product EasyAccess is created.

01.11.2001

 

The Protocol Department is created.

14.11.2001

 

7th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

30.11.2001

 

The Dirction Finances presents the post-Expo.02 concept.

31.12.2001

 

Slightly more than 1 million tickets are sold; the advance sales target is thus already exceeded more than 4 months before the Expo opening.

30.01.2002

 

Message on a 2nd additional credit (sponsorship shortfall).

31.01.2002

 

The Direction Technique launches the idea of Reflexpo; finally, more than 20 exhibition partners take part in this evaluation.

14.03.2002

 

Federal decision on the 2nd additional credit of CHF 120 million and the conversion of the deficit guarantee of CHF 58 million into a loan (against the opposition of the SVP, the Greens and parts of the CVP). The parliament's room for manoeuvre was very limited at this point.

27.03.2002

 

8th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

01.04.2002

 

Publication of The official guide to Expo.02.

04./05.05.2002

 

Preview Days/Media Days on the four Arteplages with 550 Swiss and foreign journalists.

14.05.2002

 

President Kaspar Villiger opens the National Exhibition 2002. 15,000 people attend the opening on the four Arteplages.

15.05.2002

 

Expo.02 opens its doors.

21.05.2002

 

The Arteplage Mobile du Jura opens for business.

14.06.2002

 

9th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

31.07.2002

 

The Sécretariat Générale is dissolved.

01.08.2002

 

The 1st August celebrations are held on all four Arteplages and attract a record 110'000 people.

05.08.2002

 

Expo.02 takes stock of the first half of the year. Admissions have reached 4.4 million.

20.08.2002

 

10th quarterly report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

07.-08.2002

 

Sales of the season pass and subsequently also the 3-day pass collapse, which very quickly has a negative impact on average price and ticket revenue.

02.09.2002

 

Message 3 Additional credit of CHF 90 million within the framework of the 2003 budget (to cover the insufficient ticket revenue).

09.09.2002

 

Last minute tickets offer advantageous all-inclusive prices.

12.09.2002

 

The Comité Directeur appoints Marc Stucki as the person responsible for the dismantling work.

20.10.2002

 

Closing ceremony with 500 invited guests. Expo.02 closes its doors and records a daily record of 180,000 admissions. Expo.02 records a total of 10.3 million admissions and 4.2 million tickets sold.

21.10.2002

 

Start of dismantling work.

31.10.2022

 

An opinion poll shows that 4 out of 5 people would welcome another national exhibition in the next 25 to 30 years.

20.11.2002

 

Publication of L'impact économique de l'exposition nationale Expo.02. Report on the economic effects of Expo.02 prepared by the University of Neuchâtel.

26.11.2002

 

Publication of the PwC report Vérification du décompte final provisoire.

11.12.2002

 

Federal decree on the 2003 budget, 3rd supplementary credit of CHF 90 million (loss of revenue). The Confederation thus made a total of CHF 928 million available in loans and contributions.

13.01.2003

 

11th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel) - Provisional final account.

28.02.2003

 

12th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel) - Décompte provisoire.

01.04.2003

 

Publication of the Weisungen für die Durchführung von Grossanlässen.

15.05.2003

 

Publication of the Rapport final d'Expo.02.

28.05.2003

 

13th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

24.09.2003

 

14th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

12.01.2004

 

15th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

31.08.2004

 

16th Quarterly Report Expo.02 to the Finance Delegation (FinDel).

29.11.2004

 

The following resolutions were passed at the General Assembly: Delegation of its tasks and duties to a group reduced to three persons (Hans Stöckli, Francis Matthey and Erwin Götschmann). Election of KPMG SA Berne as liquidator and PwC Neuchâtel as auditors, both as of 01.01.2005.

31.12.2004

 

Resignation of Marc Stucki, Liquidator

01.05.2005

 

Publication of the Expo.01/02: Un mandat à responsabilité illimitée.

13.05.2008

 

Publication of Expo.02 in Liquidation: Abschlussbericht.

15.05.2008

 

At the General Assembly, a decision was taken to apply for the deletion of the association Expo.02 in Liquidation from the Commercial Register of Neuchâtel.