By hosting Ms Wallström in Neuchâtel, Mr Burkhalter emphasised the good relations that exist between Switzerland and Sweden. After a one-on-one meeting, the two ministers were joined by their delegations for a working lunch, during which a number of subjects were discussed.
At bilateral level, the delegations spoke of the close economic ties between the two countries, whose trade volume exceeded CHF 3 billion in 2015. On innovation, research institutions in the two countries cooperate, primarily within the EU’s research programmes (Horizon 2020) and Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships projects, The Human Brain Project, led by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), and Graphene, launched by the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg.
Mr Burkhalter and Ms Wallström (whose country joined the EU in 1995) also discussed EU policy during their meeting. Mr Burkhalter updated his guest on the latest developments concerning the implementation of the new Federal Constitution article on immigration.
At the multilateral level, the Federal Councillor and the Swedish Foreign Minister spoke of the good cooperation between their countries in international forums. Mr Burkhalter pointed out that Sweden and Switzerland share the same priorities in their work within the United Nations (sustainable development, humanitarian action, promotion of peace and disarmament, compliance with international law and promotion of human rights, transparency and accountability of the organisation, UN management). In June, Sweden was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2017–18.
Finally, Mr Burkhalter and Ms Wallström broached a number of topical international issues, in particular the situation in Ukraine and Syria and the fight against terrorism.
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