The 2009 Foreign Policy Report

Bern, Press release, 23.09.2009

Key foreign policy objectives such as security and continued prosperity essentially depend on greater international co-operation and inherent strength of the international system. At the same time, international co-operation has become both more complex and demanding. The 2009 Foreign Policy Report, which was approved by the Federal Council on 2 September 2009, notes in response to such developments that a strong and active foreign policy is necessary to ensure that Switzerland can efficiently and effectively safeguard its interests in the international context. The report was transmitted to the Parliament on Tuesday (to the Foreign Policy Commissions). It will be published on 29 September in the Federal Gazette.

The need for discussion has been established in a number of different areas of foreign policy: while in Europe, the European Union is becoming increasingly strong and important, from a global perspective the European continent is losing weight relative to other regions. In view of these shifts of global political and economic power, Switzerland is obliged, on the one hand, to intensify relations with its most important partner, the EU, a process that will also require the constant review of the body of law governing their bilateral relations, not least because of the current economic crisis. If the situation with regard to its interests so requires, the approach adopted by Switzerland in its European policy must be fundamentally adapted. On the other hand, Switzerland must continue to develop and consolidate new and strong connections outside the European continent.  

Switzerland can only assert its own interests through the carefully targeted use of all its foreign policy instruments, such as dialogue, development co-operation, humanitarian aid, the promotion of peace and respect for human rights. These have stood the test of time and must be further expanded. In the long term, Switzerland can only maintain its influence and reputation in the international community if it actively participates in the search for solutions to global problems – all the more so as current crises and systemic risks are having an increasingly regional and worldwide impact. The current financial and economic crises, climate change, energy, health-care and other global issues clearly show that such problems are not confined to national borders and can only be overcome through stronger international co-operation.    

For further information, please contact: FDFA Information, Tel. 031 322 31 53

Further information:

The 2009 Foreign Policy Report (de)

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs