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Federal Council initiates two consultations on international exchange of information in tax matters

14.01.2015 — Press release Europa
During its meeting today, the Federal Council launched two consultations on the international exchange of information in tax matters, which should also make the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) possible. One bill concerns the OECD/Council of Europe administrative assistance convention signed by Switzerland in 2013. The other bill concerns Switzerland's participation in the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and the AEOI implementing act. The issue of the countries with which Switzerland should establish the automatic exchange of information will be presented to Parliament separately at a later stage.

Federal Council opens consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe

17.12.2014 — Press release Europa
The Federal Council has opened the consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe (Eastern Europe Cooperation Act). The current act is still valid until the end of May 2017. A timely prolongation should enable the seamless continuation of cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The consultation will last until 31 March 2015.

Direct democracy and foreign policy shape Switzerland's image in 2014

15.12.2014 — Press release Europa
Like the 9 February referendum on the mass immigration initiative, Switzerland's many popular votes in 2014 have consistently captured the attention of foreign media. There has also been extensive coverage of the international conferences that have been hosted in Geneva, as well as of Switzerland's Chairmanship of the OSCE. This coverage has given Switzerland's good offices and peacebuilding efforts a much higher profile. The Swiss financial sector continues to be subject to criticism, although there have been signs of improvement this year. In the sporting arena, Switzerland's image has benefited from the national football team's strong performance in Brazil, and the Swiss victory in the Davis Cup. Finally, Switzerland continues to enjoy considerable popularity, as demonstrated by its excellent rankings in international image indices.

Visegrad-Gipfel: Schweiz verstärkt Dialog und Zusammenarbeit mit der Slowakei, Tschechien, Polen und Ungarn (de)

09.12.2014 — Press release Europa
Bei seinem Treffen mit den Premierministern Robert Fico (Slowakei), Bohuslav Sobotka (Tschechien), Ewa Kopacz (Polen) und Viktor Orban (Ungarn) im Rahmen des Visegrad-Gipfels in Bratislava hat Bundespräsident Didier Burkhalter mit seinen Gesprächspartnern eine Erklärung verabschiedet, die einen regelmässigen Meinungsaustausch vorsieht und die Entwicklung gemeinsamer Initiativen etwa in den Bereichen Bildung, Forschung oder wirtschaftlicher Zusammenarbeit fördern möchte. Bundespräsident Burkhalter nutzte seinen Aufenthalt in Bratislava ausserdem für bilaterale Gespräche mit dem slowakischen Präsidenten Andrej Kiska, Premierminister Robert Fico und Aussenminister Miroslav Lajcak.

End of commitment period for enlargement contribution to Bulgaria and Romania

08.12.2014 — Press release Europa
The commitment period of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, ended on 7 December. In all, 13 thematic funds and 28 projects totalling CHF 257 million were approved. The Swiss commitment aims to eradicate social and economic disparities in the enlarged European Union (EU).

Federal Council takes note of final report of group of experts on "further development of financial market strategy"

05.12.2014 — Press release Europa
During its meeting today, the Federal Council took due note of the final report of the group of experts on the further development of the financial market strategy. It will now analyse the report and draw its conclusions. In the future, an advisory board comprised of representatives from academia, the private sector and authorities should assess the fundamental challenges and the future prospects for the financial centre, and submit recommendations to the Federal Council where necessary.

Meeting of the European Space Agency’s Council at Ministerial level

02.12.2014 — Press release Europa
Important decisions regarding the development of the next-generation of European launcher, Europe’s space exploration strategy and the evolution of ESA were taken at today’s European Space Agency Ministerial Council in Luxembourg. Switzerland is co-president of the Ministerial Council until 2016 and the next meeting will take place on Swiss territory. Today’s meeting was co-chaired by Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation

Popular vote Ecopop

30.11.2014 — Article Europa

In a popular vote held on 30 November 2014, 74.1% of the Swiss people and all the cantons have rejected the popular initiative «Stop overpopulation – safeguard our natural environment» (Ecopop initiative).

Switzerland takes further step towards introduction of automatic exchange of information

19.11.2014 — Europa
Today, the Federal Council approved a declaration on Switzerland joining the multilateral agreement on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters. This international agreement, which was developed within the framework of the OECD, forms a basis for the future introduction of the cross-border automatic exchange of information. The question regarding the countries with which Switzerland should introduce this exchange of data is not affected by the signing of the multilateral agreement; it will be presented to Parliament separately at a later stage.

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, meets the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella

04.11.2014 — Press release Europa

Bern, 04.11.2014 - The President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta on Tuesday for an official working visit at the Watteville House in Bern. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of various international and multilateral issues and of the development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malta. A memorandum of understanding was signed.

French President François Hollande to pay a state visit to Switzerland in 2015

30.10.2014 — Europa
During President Didier Burkhalter’s working visit to Paris on Thursday, the French president, François Hollande, accepted the Federal Council’s invitation to pay a state visit to Switzerland. The visit will take place next year. During their discussions, the two presidents addressed the status of Basel-Mulhouse airport. Mr Burkhalter and Mr Hollande stressed the importance of the airport’s binational character for the region as a whole.

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