Relations between Switzerland and Slovakia are close, especially at the civil society level. Some 13,000 refugees from Czechoslovakia were taken in by Switzerland after the Prague Spring of 1968. Slovakia was one of the recipient countries of Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The two countries maintain close diplomatic relations, which have been stepped up in recent years through frequent diplomatic visits. Two presidential-level meetings took place in 2016 alone: the then President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Ammann, visited Bratislava in June, and the President of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska, visited Bern in October. Over the last decade, one of the priorities of bilateral relations has been close cooperation in the framework of Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU. Switzerland and Slovakia also work closely together within the framework of international bodies.
In general terms, trade between Switzerland and Slovakia is developing satisfactorily. The total volume of trade amounted to CHF 1.47 billion in 2016. About 70 Swiss companies have operations in Slovakia, employing almost 5,000 people.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers from Switzerland and Slovakia are working together on several dozen projects under Horizon 2020.
Researchers and artists from Slovakia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU
Slovakia was one of the recipients of the Swiss contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in the enlarged EU. Funds totalling CHF 67 million were allocated to 23 projects. Almost 40% of these funds went to structurally weak peripheral regions in eastern Slovakia.
Swiss nationals in Slovakia
At the end of 2016 there were 361 Swiss nationals living in Slovakia.
History of bilateral relations
Some 13,000 refugees from Czechoslovakia were taken in by Switzerland after the Prague Spring of 1968.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia separated in 1992. Switzerland recognised the two new states at the beginning of 1993 and established diplomatic relations with both of them.
In the 1990s, during the transitional period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, Slovakia was a priority country for Swiss aid to Eastern Europe. The Swiss federal government provided funds totalling CHF 50 million in support of a series of projects.
Switzerland has had an embassy in Bratislava since 1999. Slovakia's embassy in Switzerland is located in Muri, on the outskirts of Bern, and its consulate is in Zurich.