Cross-border cooperation is an important aspect of the relations with neighbouring states. While foreign policy is primarily a matter for the federal government, it is the cantons that are responsible for cross-border cooperation with neighbouring regions.
Cooperation between border cantons and their neighbours abroad is regarded both as part of the regional and integration policy of the federal government and of bilateral relations with neighbouring states. Cantons may conclude agreements under international law with the regional authorities or neighbouring states in order to resolve common problems and to implement projects on a cross-border basis. These powers to enter into agreements are subordinate to those of the federal government, and are restricted to those areas for which the cantons are responsible.