Swiss-EU relations at the focus of visit to Malta and Slovakia by the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Press release, 09.03.2016

Bern, The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Didier Burkhalter, met with his Maltese counterpart George W. Vella on Wednesday in Valletta. The two foreign ministers mainly discussed the issue of Switzerland's relationship with the European Union (EU) and the political situation in the Mediterranean region. The Federal Councillor then gave a speech at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies on mediation and Switzerland's policy of providing good offices.

Mr Burkhalter also briefed Mr Vella on recent developments in Swiss-EU relations, in particular with regard to the freedom of movement of persons and the negotiation of an institutional agreement to maintain and develop bilateral relations between Switzerland and the EU. The two ministers also reviewed the situation in the various countries in the region, in particular the migration issue. Malta will assume the presidency of the European Union from 1 January 2017.

After Malta, Mr Burkhalter will travel to Slovakia on Wednesday afternoon to meet with Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák. Swiss-EU relations will also be the focus of the talks in Bratislava as Slovakia will take over the presidency of the EU in the second half of this year.

Additional indications:

external  Address by the Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) in Valetta

external  Bilateral relations Switzerland–Malta

external  Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Slovakia

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs