Switzerland and Austria have traditionally worked closely together in many areas, including services for their citizens living abroad, economic and financial matters, education, research and innovation, and culture. Visits take place frequently and at all levels. Both countries also hold regular consultations and meetings at all levels with other German-speaking states on matters of common interest.
Because of their status as host states, Switzerland and Austria work closely together at multilateral level as well – such as the UN, Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Council of Europe. Traditionally, the first visit abroad by a new Swiss foreign minister or president of the Confederation is made to Austria (known as Erstbesuchstradition).