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Foreign policy faces new challenges

Switzerland's key foreign policy goals of promoting security and prosperity depend on greater international cooperation, the government believes.

Switzerland needs not only to strengthen its relations with the European Union but also to develop new connections in the rest of the world, according to the 2009 foreign policy report approved by the government at the beginning of the month.

“Switzerland can only maintain its influence and reputation in the international community if it actively participates in the search for solutions to global problems – all the more so as current crises and systemic risks are having an increasingly regional and worldwide impact,” it points out, citing such issues as the current financial and economic crises and climate change.

While stressing the importance of relations with the EU, the report warns that Switzerland must be ready to adapt its approach to European policy if its interests so require.

The path of bilateral agreements so far pursued by Switzerland in its relations with the EU cannot lead to “de facto membership without voting rights,” it says.

The report was sent to the foreign policy committees of the two houses of parliament on Tuesday and released to the media on Wednesday.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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