President Cassis discusses bilateral and international issues with President Steinmeier, Chancellor Scholz and Foreign Minister Baerbock

Press releases, 20.01.2022

President Ignazio Cassis met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Berlin on Thursday, 20 January. The talks focused on the bilateral relations between the two countries, and on current challenges in Europe and worldwide.

The delegations emphasised the close and friendly relations between Switzerland and Germany. President Cassis commended the good neighbourly contacts both at bilateral level and in the border regions. In that context he cited the 50th anniversary of the International Lake Conference Conference that was celebrated last week, and the dynamism generated in the region.

During the talks on Thursday, the delegations exchanged views on environmental and climate protection, and the current phase of the pandemic. Mr Cassis stressed the importance of solidarity and cooperation between European neighbours at this time.

He also outlined the state of affairs in Switzerland's European policy. For Switzerland, maintaining constructive relations with the EU is key – it is a close and mutually beneficial partnership, said Mr Cassis. Maintaining good and stable relations with the EU is important also for Switzerland's bilateral relations with the EU member states, and especially its neighbouring countries.

A wide range of international current affairs were discussed, in particular the security situation in Europe, transatlantic relations and the situation on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Switzerland is concerned about the increasing tensions there.

At their meeting, Mr Cassis extended an invitation to Germany to attend the fifth Ukraine Reform Conference (URC), which will take place on 4 and 5 July in Lugano. While there are other platforms for issues regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the URC’s work focuses on Ukraine’s political, economic and social reforms.

President Cassis also underlined that Switzerland welcomes current efforts to integrate states in the Western Balkans into the EU, as the prospect of this could contribute to stability in the region. Finally, the delegations discussed cooperation between Switzerland and Germany at the multilateral level.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland – Germany

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