International cooperation to be boosted around Lake Constance

Swiss President and foreign minister Ignazio Cassis (speaking here) announced the plan at a 50th anniversary meeting of the International Lake Constance Conference on Friday. © Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

Swiss President Ignazio Cassis has announced plans for an intergovernmental committee to strengthen decades-old cooperation between regions around Lake Constance.

This content was published on January 14, 2022 minutes

This came as he attended a meeting on FridayExternal link on Mount Säntis, northeast Switzerland, of the International Lake Constance Conference (IBK) to mark its 50th anniversary. The organisation currently groups cantons and federal states from four countries around the lake: Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.

The idea is to boost the existing regional platform with an intergovernmental commission from the foreign ministries of the four countries. “At the request of the heads of government represented in the IBK and in close consultation with the foreign ministries of Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, the FDFA [Swiss foreign ministry] will be holding a pilot meeting in early summer,” according to the foreign ministry, which Cassis heads as minister.

Cassis, who took over the revolving Swiss presidency on January 1, met on the sidelines of Friday’s meeting with Liechtenstein’s prime minister, Daniel Risch. “Both agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows how important good and close cooperation among neighbouring countries is,” says the Swiss foreign ministry press release.

Chaired by the Swiss canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Friday’s IBK event addressed “several of the neighbouring countries and region's cross-border concerns, including efforts to tackle the pandemic, vocational training, transport and energy,” it says.  

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