Implementing Swiss foreign policy

Photo of the Federal Palace in Berne, north façade
Symbol of Swiss politics: the Federal Palace, north façade. © Parliamentary Services 3003 Bern

Swiss foreign policy is based on the fundamental principles of the rule of law, universality and neutrality. These basic principles are independent of current events and shifts in the international arena. Solidarity and responsibility are equally important.

The rule of law is an integral part of everyday life in Switzerland. Switzerland is also keen to hold its international relations to the law, which is why international law is crucially important to Switzerland. It aims to ensure disputes and conflicts in the world are resolved peacefully.

In striving for universality, Switzerland fosters good relations with all nations. Having an open approach to the world is particularly important for Switzerland, as it is not a member of the European Union or any other important alliance or group, such as the G20 for example. A well-developed network of relations is essential for Switzerland to be able to safeguard its interests.

As a permanently neutral state, Switzerland is bound to the law of neutrality. This means that it does not participate in international armed conflict. Neutrality plays an important part in Switzerland's good offices, which are a traditional strength of Swiss foreign policy.

Global challenges and sustainable development

Switzerland benefits from globalisation and hence embraces it constructively and responsibly, meeting global challenges head-on and remaining committed to sustainable development. Priorities are:

  • cooperation with the South and with Eastern Europe
  • humanitarian and economic aid
  • human security, which includes the promotion of peace, human rights, humanitarian policy and migration

Switzerland counts among the most developed nations in terms of science, innovation and technology, and proposes solutions for the challenges associated with those areas.

Additional information