Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23

Thematic focus areas 2020–23
Thematic focus areas 2020–23 © Parliamentary Services

At the beginning of each legislative period, the FDFA submits a foreign policy strategy to the Federal Council, setting out the main focus areas and foreign policy priorities for the next four years. 

The Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 gives the Federal Council the ability to pursue its established foreign policy and to respond flexibly to global changes. It builds on consistency, trust and tradition and, with new focus areas, provides appropriate instruments for dealing with changing global parameters. Its aim is to improve coherence in Swiss foreign policy.

The thematic focus areas for 2020–23 are as follows:

  • Peace and security

Switzerland strives to build bridges in the current volatile international environment to ensure a peaceful and safe world that allows people to live without fear or need, where their human rights are protected and where they can enjoy economic prosperity. Peace, security and the rule of law are the foundations of prosperity and sustainable development. Switzerland's foreign policy reinforces these foundations. To this end, it focuses on the proven instruments of its good offices, security policy, human rights policy, migration policy, its humanitarian commitment and science diplomacy.

Switzerland's candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2023–24 will be key.

  • Prosperity

Switzerland promotes its prosperity sustainably, thus laying the foundation for the preservation of its high quality of life. It advocates a rules-based world economic order and a well-functioning financial system, and will continue to be at the forefront in education, research and innovation. It will continue to secure access to international markets for business and through its development cooperation will show solidarity and contribute to prosperity throughout the world.

Consolidating and further developing the bilateral approach with the EU will be key.

  • Sustainability

As part of the 2030 Agenda, Switzerland strives for sustainable development that gives equal consideration to environmental, economic and social dimensions. To this end it has set up the relevant structures within the Federal Administration, and works nationally and internationally with all relevant stakeholders to promote environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources, as well as sustainable economic and social development.

Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and global climate and environmental protection will be key.

  • Digitalisation

Switzerland will raise its profile in global efforts to consolidate digital governance. It will further develop its digital foreign policy and position Geneva as a leading location for debates on digitalisation and technology. In its digital foreign policy, it will work to ensure all relevant stakeholders are included. It will contribute to new approaches to find solutions and pursue the goal of an open and secure digital space which is based on international law and which revolves around people and their needs. 

Switzerland will raise its foreign policy profile in international digital governance and bolster Geneva's position as a leading global hub.

Based on these key focus areas, the strategy defines goals for Swiss foreign policy in the different regions of the world, with a special focus on Europe.