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Here you will find media information on matters concerning European policy. Press releases and other information for the media from the various federal departments and offices can be accessed via the Federal Administration’s media portal.

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Four focal points of President Leuthard’s bilateral talks in Davos

20.01.2017 — Press release Europa

Bern, Switzerland’s relations with the European Union (EU), international energy and climate policy, migration issues and current challenges in the field of peace and security: these were the focal points of President Doris Leuthard’s bilateral talks on the fringes of this year’s WEF Annual Meeting in Davos. The president held lengthy talks with over a dozen heads of state and government, and met Maroš Šefčovič, the vice president of the European Commission.


Federal Council approves 2016 Foreign Policy Report

11.01.2017 — Press release Europa
The Federal Council approved the 2016 Foreign Policy Report at its meeting on 11 January 2017. The report gives an overview of Swiss foreign policy and provides an account of Switzerland’s most important foreign policy activities in 2016, in particular in the areas of development cooperation, humanitarian aid and good offices. This year’s report contains a chapter focusing on Switzerland’s efforts to promote peace and development in the crisis regions stretching from Syria to the Sahel.


Federal Council issues the 2016 Foreign Economic Policy Report

11.01.2017 — Press release Europa
On 11 January 2017 the Federal Council released the 2016 Foreign Economic Policy Report. The feature topic highlights current challenges facing Swiss foreign economic policy. Appropriate economic conditions should enable Swiss companies to have better access to foreign markets, and to make use of new business opportunities emerging with digitalisation.



The Gotthard tunnel and migration policy dominated media coverage of Switzerland in 2016

20.12.2016 — Press release Europa
The opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which was attended by all the heads of state of Switzerland’s neighbouring countries, drew considerable media attention abroad. International media coverage of Switzerland focused on topics that also attracted attention in other European countries: migration and Islam. Two popular votes also drew international media coverage about Switzerland: The ‘Implementation initiative’ and the ‘unconditional basic income initiative’. In 2016, a year marked by great international upheaval, Switzerland’s economic and political stability were presented in a positive light by the foreign press.


European Space Agency’s ESA successful Ministerial Council meeting in Switzerland

02.12.2016 — Press release Europa
The Ministers responsible for space affairs from ESA Member States came together on 1-2 December 2016 to make important decisions, namely on the strategy to ensure Europe reinforces its excellence in space science and technology; maximising the integration of space into European society and on fostering a competitive European space sector. The meeting in Lucerne, the first one on Swiss territory, was also the occasion for Switzerland and Luxembourg to pass on the Ministerial Presidency to Spain.


President Schneider-Ammann attends ESA Ministerial Council

01.12.2016 — Press release Europa
On 1 December, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann addressed the ministers of the 22 member states of the European Space Agency ESA and Canada in Lucerne. Switzerland has co-chaired ESA with Luxembourg since 2012. Spain will take over the chairmanship at the meeting in Lucerne.


Visit by the President of the Swiss Confederation to Kuwait underlines intensification of relations

28.11.2016 — Press release Europa

Bern, - On Monday, 28 November, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was received for a state visit by Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s head of state. The visit by the Swiss president forms part of an intensified series of diplomatic visits to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Kuwait which began in 1966. The official talks focused on bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries at international level. At the weekend, the president attended the Francophonie Summit in Madagascar where he also met with a number of heads of state on the fringes of the conference, including French President François Hollande.        



Polish President Andrzej Duda pays official visit to Switzerland

14.11.2016 — Press release Europa
On Monday, 14 November, President Johann N. Schneider-Ammann received Polish President Andrzej Duda in Bern for an official visit. The official talks, attended by two further members of the Federal Council, focused on bilateral relations and also covered European and economic policy issues. In connection with the theme of dual-track vocational education and training, the two presidents later visited a local business.


Withholding tax agreement with United Kingdom to be terminated

14.11.2016 — Europa
The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom will be terminated on 1 January 2017. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will enter into force on that date. On 14 November 2016, Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a corresponding agreement in London to ensure a smooth transition between the two models.


Withholding tax agreement with Austria to be terminated

11.11.2016 — Press release Europa
The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and Austria will be terminated on 1 January 2017. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will enter into force on that date. On 11 November 2016, Switzerland and Austria signed a corresponding agreement in Bern to ensure a smooth transition between the two models.

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