The Swiss president, Moritz Leuenberger, has been discussing Switzerland's desire for closer ties with the European Union during a visit to Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency.
The Swedish prime minister, Göran Persson, told Leuenberger that Sweden was prepared for early and wide-ranging discussions on a series of issues, aimed at intensifying ties between the Swiss and the EU.
Persson said he was confident that solutions could be found to outstanding problems, and called for discussions to take place while Sweden had the EU presidency.
The main issues to be discussed are the EU's demand that Switzerland do more to halt tax evasion and customs fraud, while Switzerland is keen to join the Schengen border agreement.
Leuenberger also raised the issue of progress towards ratifying a first round of bilateral treaties between Switzerland and the EU.
Although the Swiss people approved the package of seven accords last May, individual EU states have been slow to back the treaties and final ratification is not now expected before the middle of this year.
Briefing Persson on Swiss policy towards Europe, Leuenberger explained the government's opposition to the "Yes to Europe" people's initiative. The initiative, which comes to the vote next month, seeks immediate talks on Swiss membership of the EU, but the government wants to broach the issue from 2004 onwards.
During the talks, Persson also outlined Sweden's priorities during its six-month presidency of the EU, which began in January.
swissinfo with agencies