Foreign and security policy – a targeted partnership

Flags of various states and international organisations © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Switzerland and the European Union conduct a close dialogue on their shared foreign policy concerns. The EU has shown interest in Switzerland’s constructive approach to foreign policy. Switzerland also makes substantial contributions through its participation in the EU’s peace promotion missions.

The two parties pursue very similar foreign policy objectives: both aim to safeguard their independence and both promote the peaceful co-existence of nations, human rights, democracy and the rule of law, the alleviation of poverty and the preservation of the environment. For this reason, Switzerland and the EU foster a close and substantive dialogue, working in partnership to achieve their objectives on important issues such as in the context of the European neighbourhood, regions further afield, or in multilateral forums.

Swiss participation in EU peace promotion missions

In addition to the foreign policy dialogue, Switzerland safeguards its interests in partner-like and concrete ways through its participation in the EU’s civilian and military peace promotion missions in the framework of the EU’s common security and defence policy. Swiss civilian experts participate in the EU rule of law mission, EULEX Kosovo, in EUCAP Sahel Mali, the EU's civilian mission for the reform of the security sector in Mali, in EUAM Ukraine, the EU advisory mission for civilian security sector reform in Ukraine and members of the Swiss Armed Forces have been seconded to Operation EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Switzerland also participated, in a civilian capacity, in the mission of military education in Mali (EUTM Mali). Further possibilities for participation in EU missions are being studied on an ongoing basis. In addition, Switzerland regularly places personnel at the EU’s disposal for EU election observer missions throughout the world.

In March 2012, a framework agreement was concluded on cooperation with the  European Defence Agency in the armaments sector. Further concrete projects of cooperation in this domain are being launched.

Additional information