Cross-border cooperation plays an especially significant role in relations with neighbouring countries. While foreign policy is primarily a matter for the federal government, it is the cantons that bear the main responsibility for cross-border cooperation with neighbouring regions.
Cooperation between border cantons is regarded both as part of the regional and integration policy of the federal government and of bilateral relations with neighbouring states. Cantons may conclude agreements with the authorities of neighbouring states in order to resolve common problems and to implement projects on a cross-border basis. These powers to enter into agreements are subordinate to those of the federal government however, and are restricted to those areas for which the cantons are responsible.