President Schneider-Ammann meets Slovakian president and prime minister

Press releases, 20.06.2016

President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann travelled to Slovakia on Monday for a state visit where he was received in Bratislava by President Andrej Kiska. He also met the Slovakian prime minister, Robert Fico, economic affairs minister, Peter Žiga, and education minister, Peter Plavčan. In view of the fact that the visit is taking place shortly before Slovakia assumes the rotating presidency of the EU Council for the first time on 1 July, and a few days before the UK referendum, talks focused on European policy issues. The two presidents also attended the Business and Innovation Forum Slovakia-Switzerland 2016.

During their talks, the president and his Slovakian partners discussed the state of and outlook for relations between Switzerland and the European Union and Slovakia’s aims during its presidency of the EU Council in the second half of the year. They also considered the timeframe defined in the new provisions on immigration in the Federal Constitution. The Slovakian partners gave an assurance that under the EU Council presidency they would act as a mediator in seeking a solution in the interests of both parties. Also present at the talks was State Secretary Jacques de Watteville, Switzerland’s chief negotiator for relations with the European Union.

Strong bilateral relations
Both sides acknowledged and commended the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Slovakia, which have deepened in recent years as a result of cooperation in connection with Switzerland’s contribution to EU enlargement. The volume of trade between the two countries has almost trebled since 2000.

Other topics covered during the talks included cooperation between Switzerland and Slovakia in international organisations, the security situation in Europe, particularly regarding the Ukraine crisis, and the migration situation.

Digitisation and robotics
The president was accompanied on his visit by an economic delegation. The Business and Innovation Forum Slovakia-Switzerland, at which the two presidents spoke, is held every two years. This year’s edition was dedicated to the themes of digitisation and robotics.

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