Relations between Switzerland and Slovenia are excellent. In addition to close personal and cultural ties, 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 similar mindsets.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The two states have agreements and conventions on the protection of investments, double taxation and social security. In 2008, they signed an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation.
Slovenia and Switzerland take the same position on a number of issues, so there are many opportunities to work together at the multilateral and humanitarian levels.
The two countries have good economic relations. Trade between Switzerland and Slovenia has increased at a varying pace since 2000. Switzerland mainly exports pharmaceuticals, machinery and chemicals to Slovenia. Slovenia sells chemical and pharmaceutical products, metals and machinery to Switzerland.
Switzerland is Slovenia's third biggest foreign investor after Austria and Luxembourg. About 40 Swiss companies currently have offices in Slovenia.
Cooperation in education, research and training
The ‘Scientific Exchange Programme between the New Member States and Switzerland’ scholarship scheme makes it possible for doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers 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 for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU
When it 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 contribution in Slovenia amounts to CHF 22 million. The Swiss-Slovenian framework agreement of 20 December 2007 sets out the priorities and procedures governing the allocation of these funds. The operational stage of project implementation is now complete.
The Swiss embassy in Ljubljana monitors the implementation of the programme. Project approvals are the responsibility of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Bern.
The two countries enjoy a rich cultural exchange. Musicians, writers and artists from Slovenia and Switzerland regularly collaborate to organise events in the two countries.
Swiss nationals in Slovenia
According to the Statistics on the Swiss Abroad, 452 Swiss nationals were living in Slovenia at the end of 2016.
History of bilateral relations
Diplomatic relations were established between Switzerland and Slovenia in 1992. Slovenia opened an embassy in Bern in January of that 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.