Developing relations with neighbouring states and the European Union will be central to Switzerland’s foreign policy over the next four years.
Releasing a report on the strategic axes of Swiss foreign policy for 2012-2015 for consultation by parliamentary, the government identified four key areas of attention which it said aimed to defend Switzerland’s independence, prosperity and security.
“Both the developments taking place in our neighbouring vicinity and the global challenges that go beyond national boundaries, have a direct influence upon our independence, our prosperity, and our security,” the report says.
At the top of the list comes maintaining and developing relations with neighbouring countries including cultivating cross-border relations. Next, Switzerland wants to enhance relations with the EU while continuing along the path of bilateral agreements.
“At centre stage will be the confederation’s endeavors to safeguard the margin of political manoeuver on institutional issues, and to defend the economic interests of Switzerland with respect to market access and fiscal matters,” the government said in a statement referring to its dealings with the EU.
Stability in Europe and beyond by way of international development cooperation and humanitarian aid makes up the third priority, followed by efforts to diversify strategic partnerships with emerging countries to strengthen its multilateral commitment, notably in favour of global governance.
Furthermore, the strategy also nominates Swiss citizens living or travelling abroad as a core foreign policy mission and says it will continue to modernise and consolidate its consular services in the coming years.
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