Relations between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent. In addition to close personal and cultural contact, the two countries are united by a series of bilateral agreements and a high quality of cooperation in multilateral organisations. Both alpine countries, Switzerland and Slovenia have much in common and a similar mentality.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The two states are linked by a number of accords and conventions. Particular among these are agreements on the protection of investments, double taxation and social security. An agreement on scientific and technical cooperation was signed in 2008.
Slovenia and Switzerland often take the same position on various issues, so there are many opportunities for collaboration at the multilateral and humanitarian levels.
Economic relations between the two countries are fundamentally good.Trade between Switzerland and Slovenia has shown a positive but at times unsteady trend since 2000. Swiss exports to Slovenia are mainly pharmaceutical and chemical products and machinery. Slovenia exports mainly aircraft, vehicles, metals and machinery to Switzerland.
Switzerland ranks second after Austria as an investor in Slovenia. About 40 Swiss companies currently have offices in Slovenia (2015).
Cooperation in education and training
The ‘Scientific Exchange Programme between the New Member States and Switzerland’ scholarship scheme makes it possible for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral scholars from new EU member states to hold temporary research positions in Switzerland.
There is also a second academic programme: scholars and artists from Slovenia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU
Having joined the EU, Slovenia became one of the countries to benefit from Switzerland’s contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in an enlarged European Union. Switzerland’s financial aid to Slovenia amounts to CHF 21.956 million and is governed by the Swiss-Slovenian framework agreement of 20 December 2007, which defines both the priorities and the procedures involved.
The implementation of the programme is monitored by the Swiss embassy in Ljubljana. Project approvals are the responsibility of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC in Bern.
The two countries enjoy rich cultural exchange. Musicians, writers and artists regularly organise events in each other’s countries.
Swiss nationals in Slovenia
At the end of 2015 there were 433 Swiss citizens living in Slovenia.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland recognised Slovenia soon after its declaration of independence at the beginning of 1992. Slovenia opened an embassy in Bern that same year, while Switzerland established an embassy in Ljubljana in 2001.
During the transitional phase in the 1990s, Switzerland gave its support to a project for the modernisation of the Slovenian administration, leading to the founding of the National Administrative Academy to train Slovenian experts.