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Peace, security and immigration: Switzerland and Germany's foreign ministers meet in Berlin

06.04.2016 — Press release Europa
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), met with Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin today for official talks. They discussed the situation in Europe and Switzerland's policy towards the EU, security issues, policy measures to support peace and bilateral topics. It was decided that the FDFA and the German Federal Foreign Office would cooperate more closely in future to train mediators.


Swiss Foreign Policy strategy 2016-19

Swiss Foreign Policy strategy 2016-19

05.04.2016 — Press release Mission EU Brussels

The strategy sets out the Federal Council's priorities and areas of special interest in foreign policy. Its strategic objectives for the 2016-2019 legislative period include consolidating and regulating relations with the EU and the EU and EFTA countries, working more closely with global partners, expanding mediation activities in the field of peace and security, and pursuing the commitment to sustainable development and prosperity.



Switzerland’s enlargement contribution rated highly

21.03.2016 — Press release Mission EU Brussels

Bern, 21.03.2016 - An independent evaluation has confirmed the federal authorities responsible have achieved good results in implementing Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. The in-depth assessment showed that the projects, of which there are some 300, are making a positive contribution towards promoting social and economic development in the 13 partner states. The objectives are being attained or even exceeded in the vast majority of projects. Various recommendations encourage further efficiency and greater thematic and geographic focus.



Swiss-EU relations at the focus of visit to Malta and Slovakia by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

09.03.2016 — Press release Europa

Bern, The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Didier Burkhalter, met with his Maltese counterpart George W. Vella on Wednesday in Valletta. The two foreign ministers mainly discussed the issue of Switzerland's relationship with the European Union (EU) and the political situation in the Mediterranean region. The Federal Councillor then gave a speech at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies on mediation and Switzerland's policy of providing good offices.


Federal Council submits draft legislation to manage immigration

signature of Croatian protocol

04.03.2016 — Press release Mission EU Brussels

Bern, 04.03.2016 - On Friday the Federal Council submitted to Parliament several pieces of draft legislation to implement the constitutional provisions on immigration. The Federal Council is continuing to push for a mutually agreed solution with the EU. Since it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement with the EU, however, as announced, the Federal Council is now proposing a unilateral safeguard clause to control immigration that will allow it to fix annual limits if immigration exceeds a certain level. To better utilise the resident workforce, the Federal Council also wants it to be easier for people from the asylum system who are allowed to remain in Switzerland to find employment. At the same time it approved an amendment to the Foreign Nationals Act which prevents foreign jobseekers from accessing social welfare. The Federal Council also adopted the dispatch on the extension of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMPA) to Croatia. Ratification of the Croatia protocol is a requirement for Switzerland to continue to take part in the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research.


Federal Council submits draft legislation to manage immigration

04.03.2016 — Press release Europa

Bern, On Friday the Federal Council submitted to Parliament several pieces of draft legislation to implement the constitutional provisions on immigration. The Federal Council is continuing to push for a mutually agreed solution with the EU. Since it has not yet been possible to reach an agreement with the EU, however, as announced, the Federal Council is now proposing a unilateral safeguard clause to control immigration that will allow it to fix annual limits if immigration exceeds a certain level. To better utilise the resident workforce, the Federal Council also wants it to be easier for people from the asylum system who are allowed to remain in Switzerland to find employment. At the same time it approved an amendment to the Foreign Nationals Act which prevents foreign jobseekers from accessing social welfare. The Federal Council also adopted the dispatch on the extension of the Free Movement of Persons Agreement (FMPA) to Croatia. Ratification of the Croatia protocol is a requirement for Switzerland to continue to take part in the Horizon 2020 framework programme for research.


Swiss Labour Force Survey in 4th quarter 2015: labour supply – 0.5% increase in the number of employed persons; unemployment rate based on ILO rises to 4.7%

18.02.2016 — Press release Europa

Neuchâtel, The number of employed persons in Switzerland rose by 0.5% between the 4th quarter 2014 and the 4th quarter 2015. During the same period, the unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) increased in Switzerland from 4.1% to 4.7%. The EU's unemployment rate based on the ILO definition decreased from 10.0% to 9.1%. These are the findings from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).


Federal Council adopts Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017–20

17.02.2016 — Press release Europa

Bern - A world without poverty and in peace, for sustainable development. This is the goal of the Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017–20, which the Federal Council submitted to Parliament today. The dispatch covers development cooperation strategy, including economic and trade-policy measures, and in particular strengthens humanitarian emergency aid and Switzerland's contribution to conflict resolution. Civilian peacebuilding is also incorporated into the strategy for the first time. By combining these means effectively, Switzerland will address current emergencies and help to alleviate crises, conflicts, climate change, poverty, inequality and lack of economic prospects and prevent the accompanying displacement of populations.


Federal Council adopts Switzerland’s foreign policy strategy for 2016–19

Symbol of Swiss politics: the Federal Palace.

17.02.2016 — Press release Europa
The Federal Council has adopted the report on the foreign policy priorities for 2016–19. Four strategic priorities have been defined for the next legislative period. The Federal Council wishes to establish a well-regulated, partnership-based and expandable relationship with the EU and to strengthen global partnerships. Priority is also given to Switzerland's commitment to peace and security and to sustainable development and prosperity. The Federal Council also aims to expand the range of public services available to the Swiss community abroad and travellers.


Negotiations on linking of Swiss and EU emission trading schemes concluded

25.01.2016 — Press release Europa

Bern - Negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) on linking their emissions trading schemes have concluded. Bruno Oberle, Director of the Federal Office for the Environment (until the end of 2015), Dominique Paravicini, Deputy Director of the Directorate for European Affairs (DEA), and Jos Delbeke, Director General of the EU’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, have initialled the agreement. The expansion of the international CO2 market by linking national or regional emissions trading schemes can provide an effective means of combating climate change.

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