Guy Parmelin and Ignazio Cassis receive heads of government of the International Lake Constance Conference

Press release, 21.11.2019

Federal Councillors Guy Parmelin and Ignazio Cassis held talks with the heads of government of the International Lake Constance Conference in Bern on 21 November. Talks focused on cross-border cooperation in the Lake Constance area, the New Regional Policy of the Federal Government and Switzerland's European policy.

The International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) was attended by Carmen Haag, member of the Thurgau Cantonal Council and IBK Chair for 2019, and government representatives and administrative authorities from the cantons of St Gallen, Zurich, Schaffhausen, Appenzell-Ausserrhoden and Appenzell-Innerrhoden, including cantonal council members Benedikt Würth, Ernst Stocker and Christian Amsler, and representatives from the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the Austrian province of Vorarlberg and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Talks with Mr Parmelin, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), centred on the EU 'Horizon 2020' research framework programme, the upcoming 'Horizon Europe' generation of programmes, and the EU 'Erasmus+' programme to support education and training. Mr Parmelin also reported on progress in preparing the next Interreg programming period and formulating the New Regional Policy of the Federal Government. 

At his meeting, Mr Cassis stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation in the Lake Constance region to Switzerland's foreign policy. Mr Cassis and his dialogue partners also discussed an expedient approach to addressing cross-border issues and the interaction of such issues at regional and national level. Mr Cassis paid tribute to the projects implemented in different fields in recent years. He also updated IBK members on the latest development in relation to Switzerland's European policy.

The IBK works to address regional issues as part of cross-border cooperation in the Lake Constance region. In furtherance of this objective, the Swiss cantons and local authorities in neighbouring regions undertake joint projects and engage in regular dialogue. Priority areas for cross-border cooperation include education, research and innovation, spatial and traffic planning, health, energy, the environment and promoting the Lake Constance area as a place to do business. 

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