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Swiss–EU relations: Federal Council approves definitive negotiating mandate

08.03.2024 — Press releases EDA
At its meeting on 8 March 2024, the Federal Council approved the negotiating mandate with the EU in its definitive form. The mandate adopted takes account of the results of the consultation with the foreign affairs committees (FACs) and other interested parliamentary committees, the cantons and the views of the social and economic partners. Negotiations will begin as soon as the European Commission has adopted its own definitive mandate, expected sometime in March 2024.

Swiss President Amherd discusses bilateral relations and the European security situation at Bucharest meeting

07.03.2024 — Press releases Europa
President of the Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd, concluded her trip to Romania by meeting with Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu on Thursday, 7 March to discuss bilateral relations, European policy issues and the current security situation. On Wednesday Ms Amherd met with President Klaus Iohannis and Finance Minister Marcel Bolos. She also attended the European People’s Party Congress in Bucharest, where her meeting with Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova, also focused on security issues.

Federal Councillor Beat Jans attends the meeting of justice and home affairs ministers in Brussels

05.03.2024 — Press releases Europa
Federal Councillor Beat Jans attended the meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA Council) on 4 and 5 March in Brussels. The JHA Council is made up of the justice and home affairs ministers of all the EU member states and the four non-EU countries that are part of the Schengen agreement, of which Switzerland is one. The talks focused on combating organised crime, drug trafficking, people smuggling and irregular migration. Mr Jans, who is head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), also took part on the fringes of the meeting in a round table discussion on cross-border data exchange and data protection.

State Secretary Hirayama attends informal meeting of EU ministers for higher education

04.03.2024 — Press releases Europa
On 29 February and 1 March, State Secretary Martina Hirayama took part in an informal meeting in Brussels of ministers for higher education in EU member states. The event focused on international mobility in higher education and how it could be better promoted in the future. Ms Hirayama also held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Belgium, Denmark and Spain and exchanged views with representatives of the European Commission.

President Amherd to meet with Romanian heads of state and government

04.03.2024 — Press releases Europa
Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation, will visit Romania on 6 and 7 March to meet with President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu. Talks will focus on bilateral relations, with a particular emphasis on the second Swiss contribution, European policy and the security situation in Europe. Ms Amherd will also participate in the European People’s Party Congress in Bucharest.

Free trade agreement with Moldova: Federal Council launches approval process

21.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
On 21 February the Federal Council adopted the dispatch on the free trade agreement between the EFTA countries and Moldova. The dispatch will now be referred to Parliament for approval. Moldova is the first partner country with which EFTA has agreed a comprehensive chapter on e-commerce and incorporated its new model chapter on trade and sustainable development.

State Secretary Hirayama takes part in informal EU ministerial meeting on research and innovation competition and international ministerial dialogue on international cooperation

16.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
On 14-15 February, State Secretary for Education Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama, attended an informal meeting of research and innovation ministers from EU Member States in La Hulpe (Belgium). Discussions at this biannual meeting were centred on three main topics: the future of EU framework programmes for research and innovation; collaboration between research and industry; and the potential of technological developments in accelerating industrial decarbonisation. This informal ministerial meeting was followed by a second event: the international ministerial dialogue on principles and values in international research and innovation cooperation, which took place on 16 February.

Swiss-UK Agreement on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications: Dispatch sent to Parliament

14.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
At its meeting on 14 February 2024, the Federal Council submitted its dispatch to the Swiss Parliament on the agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The agreement enables citizens of both countries to take up employment in regulated professional activities. Swiss professionals and companies benefit from the agreement as it will enable them to continue offering their services in the United Kingdom.

Switzerland and Norway emphasise common values and interests

07.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
President Viola Amherd met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on Wednesday, 7 February to discuss bilateral relations, the European policy of both countries and the security situation on the continent. A further topic of the talks was trade policy within the framework of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). An exchange with King Harald V is planned for Thursday, 8 February.

President Amherd meets President and Prime Minister of Estonia

06.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
On 6 February, President Viola Amherd met with President Alar Karis, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The main topics of discussion were European policy and the security situation. A visit to the Cyber Defence Centre was also on the agenda, with a view to cooperation on cyber defence issues.

Decline in social expenditure in 2022 in Switzerland and Europe

05.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
Expenditure on social benefits in Switzerland reached CHF 207.8 billion in 2022, a decline of CHF 4.2 billion (–2.0%) on 2021 in real terms. A fall in social expenditure was also recorded in most European countries (median: –3.5%). In 2020, expenditure had reached an all-time high in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend is largely explained by post-COVID-19 economic recovery and the rise in prices following the war in Ukraine. These are the latest findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

President Amherd to travel to Estonia and Norway

02.02.2024 — Press releases Europa
President Viola Amherd will pay a visit to Estonia and Norway next week. Switzerland maintains close relations with both countries. In Estonia, meetings are scheduled with President Alar Karis and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on Tuesday, 6 February. Ms Amherd will then meet with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre on Wednesday, 7 February. An exchange with King Harald V is also planned in Oslo.

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