Here you will find media information on matters concerning European policy. Press releases and other information for the media from the various federal departments and offices can be accessed via the Federal Administration’s media portal.

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Meeting of transport ministers in Lugano

31.05.2016 — DEA
Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard met the transport ministers of the Alpine countries today as part of the Zurich Process. The conference was held in Lugano this year to mark the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Transport ministers from the Alpine countries meet regularly to discuss issues of transport safety as well as the modal shift policy. The presidency passed from Slovenian infrastructure minister, Peter Gašperšič, to his Italian colleague Graziano Delrio.

Combining interests and values: Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter speaks about innovative foreign policy approaches at the Entrepreneur Day in Liechtenstein

Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter is greeted by Liechtenstein's Foreign Minister, Aurelia Frick, in Vaduz.

09.05.2016 — Press release DEA
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), spoke at the 'Entrepreneur Day Liechtenstein, Rheintal, Vorarlberg' about how Switzerland addresses current challenges and what it can do to help shape the future. Mr Burkhalter also used his visit to the capital of the Principality of Liechtenstein to hold bilateral talks with Liechtenstein's Foreign Minister, Aurelia Frick, and Deputy Prime Minister Thomas Zwiefelhofer.

Working meeting with the Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn

During their working breakfast, Mr Burhalter and Mr Asselborn discussed bilateral topics.

14.04.2016 — Press release DEA
On 14 April 2016, Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter met in Bern with the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, for a working breakfast to discuss bilateral relations, matters related to European policy and current international issues. Mr Asselborn, who is visiting Switzerland for several days, will also be meeting with Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga.

Switzerland to support the reform of the civilian security sector in Mali and Ukraine

13.04.2016 — DEA
Today, Switzerland and the European Union (EU) have signed two agreements on Switzerland's participation in EUCAP Sahel Mali, the EU's civilian mission for the reform of the security sector in Mali, and in EUAM Ukraine, the EU advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine. These two agreements form the basis for the secondment of Swiss civilian experts to these missions.

Peace, security and immigration: Switzerland and Germany's foreign ministers meet in Berlin

06.04.2016 — Press release DEA
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), met with Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin today for official talks. They discussed the situation in Europe and Switzerland's policy towards the EU, security issues, policy measures to support peace and bilateral topics. It was decided that the FDFA and the German Federal Foreign Office would cooperate more closely in future to train mediators.

Swiss-EU relations at the focus of visit to Malta and Slovakia by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

09.03.2016 — Press release DEA

Bern, The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Didier Burkhalter, met with his Maltese counterpart George W. Vella on Wednesday in Valletta. The two foreign ministers mainly discussed the issue of Switzerland's relationship with the European Union (EU) and the political situation in the Mediterranean region. The Federal Councillor then gave a speech at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies on mediation and Switzerland's policy of providing good offices.

Federal Council submits draft legislation to manage immigration

04.03.2016 — Press release DEA

Bern, On Friday the Federal Council submitted to Parliament several pieces of draft legislation to implement the constitutional provisions on immigration. The Federal Council is continuing to push for a mutually agreed solution with the EU. Since it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement with the EU, however, as announced, the Federal Council is now proposing a unilateral safeguard clause to control immigration that will allow it to fix annual limits if immigration exceeds a certain level. To better utilise the resident workforce, the Federal Council also wants it to be easier for people from the asylum system who are allowed to remain in Switzerland to find employment. At the same time it approved an amendment to the Foreign Nationals Act which prevents foreign jobseekers from accessing social welfare. The Federal Council also adopted the dispatch on the extension of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMPA) to Croatia. Ratification of the Croatia protocol is a requirement for Switzerland to continue to take part in the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research.

Swiss Labour Force Survey in 4th quarter 2015: labour supply – 0.5% increase in the number of employed persons; unemployment rate based on ILO rises to 4.7%

18.02.2016 — Press release DEA

Neuchâtel, The number of employed persons in Switzerland rose by 0.5% between the 4th quarter 2014 and the 4th quarter 2015. During the same period, the unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) increased in Switzerland from 4.1% to 4.7%. The EU's unemployment rate based on the ILO definition decreased from 10.0% to 9.1%. These are the findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Federal Council adopts Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017–20

17.02.2016 — Press release DEA

Bern - A world without poverty and in peace, for sustainable development. This is the goal of the Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017–20, which the Federal Council submitted to Parliament today. The dispatch covers development cooperation strategy, including economic and trade-policy measures, and in particular strengthens humanitarian emergency aid and Switzerland's contribution to conflict resolution. Civilian peacebuilding is also incorporated into the strategy for the first time. By combining these means effectively, Switzerland will address current emergencies and help to alleviate crises, conflicts, climate change, poverty, inequality and lack of economic prospects and prevent the accompanying displacement of populations.

Federal Council adopts Switzerland’s foreign policy strategy for 2016–19

Symbol of Swiss politics: the Federal Palace.

17.02.2016 — Press release DEA
The Federal Council has adopted the report on the foreign policy priorities for 2016–19. Four strategic priorities have been defined for the next legislative period. The Federal Council wishes to establish a well-regulated, partnership-based and expandable relationship with the EU and to strengthen global partnerships. Priority is also given to Switzerland's commitment to peace and security and to sustainable development and prosperity. The Federal Council also aims to expand the range of public services available to the Swiss community abroad and travellers.

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