Bilateral relations Switzerland–Ireland

Relations between Switzerland and Ireland have traditionally been good. Both countries pursue similar interests in human rights policy. The two countries maintain lively cultural exchanges.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Ireland is a member of the EU and an important partner for Switzerland. The consistent and lasting protection of human rights is a foreign policy priority for both countries. Their double taxation agreement was revised in January 2012 to simplify economic relations.

Economic cooperation

The effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt in Ireland. But the Irish economy is recovering steadily. Ireland was the fastest growing EU economy in 2014. Switzerland has long run a high trade deficit with Ireland.

Foreign direct investment in Ireland is continuing to grow. The financial intermediation sector and the pharmaceutical industry account for most of the direct investment. As at the end of 2012, Swiss direct investments in Ireland stood at CHF 20.7 billion.

Swiss nationals in Ireland

At the end of 2014, there were 1504 Swiss nationals living in Ireland.

Cultural exchanges

There are strong cultural ties between the two countries. A number of Swiss writers and artists living and working in Ireland. The Swiss embassy in Dublin and Pro Helvetia support numerous cultural events with Swiss participation in Ireland. Irish universities periodically also take part in such events.

Over a period of five months from 2014 to 2015 the Irish Museum of Modern Art showed a trilogy of films by Swiss artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler entitled "Sound Speed Marker".

Another high point in relations was the participation by Patrouille Suisse in the Bray Air Show on 19 July 2015.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland opened a consulate general in Dublin in 1934 which was attached to the Swiss embassy in London. A Swiss legation was opened in Dublin in 1939 and a Swiss embassy in 1962. Ireland has had a diplomatic representation in Switzerland since 1940, which was headed by a chargé d'affaires until 1954 and by a minister until 1962, when it was upgraded to an embassy. From 1956 to 1960, the highest-ranking Irish diplomat representing Ireland in Switzerland was a woman, Josephine McNeill. The state visit by Irish President Sean T. O'Kelly in 1956 was a milestone in Irish-Swiss relations.

Historical Lexicon of Switzerland: Ireland (de, fr, it)