Press releases

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News from the Directorate for European Affairs © Fotolia

Here you will find media information on matters concerning European policy. Press releases and other information for the media from the various federal departments and offices can be accessed via the Federal Administration’s media portal.

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Four focal points of President Leuthard’s bilateral talks in Davos

20.01.2017 — Media release DEA

Bern, Switzerland’s relations with the European Union (EU), international energy and climate policy, migration issues and current challenges in the field of peace and security: these were the focal points of President Doris Leuthard’s bilateral talks on the fringes of this year’s WEF Annual Meeting in Davos. The president held lengthy talks with over a dozen heads of state and government, and met Maroš Šefčovič, the vice president of the European Commission.

Federal Council issues the 2016 Foreign Economic Policy Report

11.01.2017 — Media release DEA
On 11 January 2017 the Federal Council released the 2016 Foreign Economic Policy Report. The feature topic highlights current challenges facing Swiss foreign economic policy. Appropriate economic conditions should enable Swiss companies to have better access to foreign markets, and to make use of new business opportunities emerging with digitalisation.

Federal Council approves 2016 Foreign Policy Report

11.01.2017 — Media release EDA
The Federal Council approved the 2016 Foreign Policy Report at its meeting on 11 January 2017. The report gives an overview of Swiss foreign policy and provides an account of Switzerland’s most important foreign policy activities in 2016, in particular in the areas of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and good offices. This year’s report contains a chapter focusing on Switzerland’s efforts to promote peace and development in the crisis regions stretching from Syria to the Sahel.

The Gotthard tunnel and migration policy dominated media coverage of Switzerland in 2016

20.12.2016 — Media release DEA
The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was attended by all the heads of state of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries, drew considerable media attention abroad. International media coverage of Switzerland focused on topics that also attracted attention in other European countries: migration and Islam. Two popular votes also drew international media coverage about Switzerland: The ‘Implementation initiative’ and the ‘unconditional basic income initiative’. In 2016, a year marked by great international upheaval, Switzerland’s economic and political stability were presented in a positive light by the foreign press.

Switzerland ratifies Croatia protocol

16.12.2016 — DEA
Switzerland has ratified the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. On 17 June this year, the Federal Assembly authorised the Federal Council to ratify Protocol III extending the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) to Croatia, subject to a specific condition. After Parliament passed the act implementing Article 121a of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Council concluded that this condition had been fulfilled. At its meeting on 16 December 2016, it therefore authorised the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in cooperation with the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), to confirm the ratification of Protocol III to the EU. This also means the precondition has been met for Switzerland to participate fully in the Horizon 2020 research programme.

European Space Agency’s ESA successful Ministerial Council meeting in Switzerland

02.12.2016 — Media release DEA
The Ministers responsible for space affairs from ESA Member States came together on 1-2 December 2016 to make important decisions, namely on the strategy to ensure Europe reinforces its excellence in space science and technology; maximising the integration of space into European society and on fostering a competitive European space sector. The meeting in Lucerne, the first one on Swiss territory, was also the occasion for Switzerland and Luxembourg to pass on the Ministerial Presidency to Spain.

President Schneider-Ammann attends ESA Ministerial Council

01.12.2016 — Media release DEA
On 1 December, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann addressed the ministers of the 22 member states of the European Space Agency ESA and Canada in Lucerne. Switzerland has co-chaired ESA with Luxembourg since 2012. Spain will take over the chairmanship at the meeting in Lucerne.

Visit by the President of the Swiss Confederation to Kuwait underlines intensification of relations

28.11.2016 — Media release DEA

Bern, - On Monday, 28 November, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was received for a state visit by Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s head of state. The visit by the Swiss president forms part of an intensified series of diplomatic visits to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Kuwait which began in 1966. The official talks focused on bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries at international level. At the weekend, the president attended the Francophonie Summit in Madagascar where he also met with a number of heads of state on the fringes of the conference, including French President François Hollande.        

Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter in Slovenia to explore avenues for future cooperation

15.11.2016 — Media release DEA
“Relations between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent and very constructive. Our challenge is to maintain and develop them further in the future”, stated Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter during one of several meetings in Ljubljana on 15 November 2016. The two countries’ commitment and developments in relations with the European Union will be key to achieving this goal. Mr Burkhalter met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec, Prime Minister Miro Cerar and the Speaker of Slovenia’s National Assembly, Milan Brglez.

Withholding tax agreement with United Kingdom to be terminated

14.11.2016 — Media release DEA
The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom will be terminated on 1 January 2017. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will enter into force on that date. On 14 November 2016, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a corresponding agreement in London to ensure a smooth transition between the two models.

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