MIL-OSI Translation: WEF Davos: Switzerland and Germany in exchange on economic and energy issues

10

MIL OSI translation. Region: Germany/Germany –

Source: Switzerland – Federal Council in German

General Secretariat DETEC

Bern, 05/22/2022 – On May 22, 2022, Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga and Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin met with Robert Habeck, the German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, in Davos in the run-up to the WEF. They talked about the effects of the Ukraine war, especially on the energy supply. Both countries are in the process of rapidly reducing their dependency on Russian gas and pushing ahead with decarbonization. In order to be able to cope better with any bottlenecks, they have agreed to start negotiations for a solidarity agreement to provide mutual support.

Federal Councilor Sommaruga, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), and Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin, Head of the Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research (EAER) have before the start of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck received in Davos. The conversation was influenced by the war in Ukraine and its effects on Europe.

Federal Councilor Sommaruga spoke to Minister Habeck about the measures that the two countries have taken to reduce dependence on Russian gas and create the necessary gas reserves. In order to be better prepared for any bottlenecks, various EU countries have begun to examine and conclude mutual support agreements with one another. A corresponding agreement is also in the interest of Switzerland and Germany. Switzerland and Germany therefore agreed today in Davos to start negotiations for a solidarity agreement as soon as possible.

Measures to strengthen the power supply were also discussed. Due to the high price fluctuations and the increased liquidity needs of the electricity companies, the Federal Council has drawn up a rescue package. The German government also created a protective shield at the beginning of April. A secure power supply is crucial for the population and the economy. Grid stability and correspondingly close cooperation between neighboring countries and within Europe are also decisive for this. Federal Councilor Sommaruga made it clear that Switzerland can play an important role in grid stability in Europe and should therefore be included in the work.

On the WBF side, bilateral economic relations and relations between Switzerland and the EU were at the center of the talks. Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin emphasized that Germany is Switzerland’s most important economic partner and that the partnership with the EU is also beneficial for both sides. Switzerland’s decision to accept EU sanctions in connection with the Ukraine war is the latest example of Switzerland seeing itself as part of a community of values with the EU. Federal Councilor Parmelin explained the Federal Council’s intention to continue on the bilateral path with the EU – now with a broad package approach.

Germany is by far Switzerland’s most important trading partner. Last year, our country exported goods worth 51 billion Swiss francs, while imports amounted to 57 billion. Germany and Switzerland are also of great importance to each other as investors. Swiss direct investments in Germany amounted to CHF 70 billion at the end of 2020, while German companies invested over CHF 38 billion in Switzerland.

Before the talks with Minister Habeck in Davos, Federal Councilor Sommaruga also met Arifin Tasrif, the Indonesian Energy Minister, and Xie Zhenhua, the Chinese special envoy for the climate, for an exchange.

Address for queries

DETEC: Annetta Bundi, Head of Communications: 078 646 38 80

EAER communication, info@gs-wbf.admin.ch, 058 462 20 07

editor

General Secretariat DETEChttps://www.uvek.admin.ch/uvek/de/home.html

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI