Since the parliamentary decision on the issue of immigration in December 2016, the conditions for normalising relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) have been met. Ms Leuthard explained in Tallinn that she and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had agreed at their meeting last Thursday to renew talks and negotiations on all pending dossiers, and to continue negotiations on an institutional agreement. For its part, the Estonian delegation set out the objectives of the EU Council Presidency, which it hopes to achieve by the end of 2017. The subject of Brexit was also discussed.
Both sides expressed their appreciation and praise for the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Estonia, which have intensified in recent years, for example through cooperation on the Swiss enlargement contribution. Specifically, economic cooperation, vocational education and training, energy, innovation and infrastructure topics were discussed.
Other subjects covered included the Ukraine conflict, security policy in Europe and cybersecurity. Switzerland is interested in deepening cooperation with the international research institute, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence, based in Tallinn. This would allow Switzerland to participate in research projects.
The programme in Tallinn also included a visit to the e-Estonia showrooms, exhibiting Estonia’s approach to the digitalisation of society. Estonia is one of the most advanced EU countries in the digital field; health data is managed electronically and it is possible to vote and register businesses online, for example.
Address for enquiries
General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications; General Secretariat DETEC