At their annual meeting, the finance and economic affairs ministers of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will address current economic policy issues and the economic situation of EFTA and EU member states. As this year's chair of the EFTA Economic Committee, Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann will be leading the delegation. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein cultivate close economic relations with the EU, Switzerland's most important trade partner. Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann will set out Switzerland's economic policy priorities, including the challenges the country faces due to the strong franc, as well as its growth policy, bilateral relations with the EU and current financial regulatory efforts.
In addition to the specific topics that will be discussed during the working meetings with the two European Commission members, emphasis will also be placed on Switzerland's relations with the EU and current challenges.
With Commission vice president, Jyrki Katainen, who heads the Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness project team, Mr Schneider-Ammann will discuss the EU's economic situation and the policies of both sides on competitiveness, growth and jobs.
With Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Schneider-Ammann will discuss the research environment in Europe and the situation in which Swiss researchers find themselves. Switzerland's partial association with Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation, will continue until the end of 2016. Switzerland wishes to secure its participation in the long term.
Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will conclude his visit with a press call at the Mission of Switzerland to the European Union in Brussels. Journalists are requested to register with Emmanuelle Paoloni at the Mission in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 (22) 86 1304. The press call will be live-streamed on Periscope via the Twitter handle @SwissmissionEU.
Address for enquiries:
Noé Blancpain, Head of Information, EAER
Tel. +41 58 462 39 60
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research