Press releases, 31.01.2024

The Federal Council adopted the Foreign Policy Strategy 2024–27 at its meeting on 31 January 2024, after consulting the foreign affairs committees of the National Council and Council of States and the cantons. This strategy outlines Switzerland's stance in a rapidly evolving global landscape and establishes key foreign policy priorities for the upcoming legislative period. Democracy and the environment are among the new thematic priorities, and particular emphasis is placed on stability and prosperity in Europe.

The global economic and political situation is increasingly unstable. With conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East, the South Caucasus and the Sahel, an arc of crises is emerging around Europe. In this context, Switzerland positions itself as a country that fulfils its responsibilities in Europe, a voice for peace, an advocate of international law and multilateralism, and a centre of innovation and competitiveness. These four pillars of Switzerland's identity are confirmed in the new Foreign Policy Strategy, which will provide a compass for the Federal Council and ensure the coherence of its Swiss foreign policy.

Like the last one, this strategy is based around geographical and thematic priorities, chief among them being a stable and prosperous Europe. The Federal Council intends to step up Switzerland's contribution to the stability of the European continent and considers peace and reconstruction in Ukraine to be a matter of strategic importance. Stabilising and developing Switzerland's relations with the European Union is also central.

The economic importance of the United States, Canada and other members of the G20, the rise of Asia-Pacific, and the new dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa as well as in the Middle East and North Africa are given in-depth consideration in the new strategy. Last but not least, Switzerland aims to promote focused and effective multilateralism.

Priorities for a more stable, prosperous and sustainable world

The Federal Council sets four thematic priorities. Faced with the rise of authoritarian tendencies and regimes, it makes the promotion of democracy a new priority. There is also a fresh focus on the environment, aimed at fostering the transition to sustainable development. The main themes here are climate change, biodiversity, pollution and a sustainable energy supply.

Peace and security remain a thematic priority, these being essential conditions for prosperity. This action area is complemented competitiveness, to ensure sustainable economic growth and enhance Switzerland's attractiveness as a place to do business.

To achieve these priorities, the Federal Council will use its usual instruments, such as the external network, international cooperation, Switzerland's good offices and neutrality. 

The draft strategy approved by the Federal Council on 29 September 2023 was, for the first time, submitted for consultation to the foreign affairs committees of the National Council and Council of States and to the cantons. The positive feedback on the strategy augurs well for fruitful collaboration between the various stakeholders involved in its implementation.

Further information:

Swiss foreign policy: strategies and key aspects
Foreign Policy Strategy 2024–27
Platform dedicated to strategies

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